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Basil D'oliveria RIP

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Basil D'oliveria RIP

Sad sporting news here in the UK today, Basil D'Oliveria the former England Cricketer has deid at the age of at least 80. Although Basil was officially 80, people often believed he was older than that maybe about 83. Anyway although a considerable cricketer on the pich, Basil's main place in history was the 1968 D'Oliveria affair where after originally being left out of the England team to tour South Africa he was added as a replacement which the South Africa government did not like.

Basil you see was a Cape Coloured South African by birth ( mixed race is the common term used now) and so under the Apartheid system was not allowed to ply his trade as a sportsman in South Africa so came to England and qualified to play for us. When the affair came to light, the England tour was cancelled and it hastened the banning of South Africa from further sports until apartheid ended in the early 1990's. Basil had a good career for England lasting until 1972 and continued to turn out for his County team until the late 1970's when he was in his late 40's at least. He then coached his county team to two County titles in the late 1980's and the main stand at their ground was named in his honour.

Basil's career statistics were impressive but when you consider he did not play first class cricket until he was at least 32 years old then if he had started a decade or so earlier he would surely have been one of the greats. Due to his comtribution to cricket, he was appointed both an OBE and a CBE in his lifetime and in 2004 the D'Oliveria Trophy was named in his honour to be contested when England and South Africa meet in Test Cricket.

You may not have heard of this man but in my opinion his contribution and legacy to his sport ranks and surpasses with those who took part in the Black Power protest at the 1968 Olympics for example.


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