Read Basil D'Oliveira Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story by Peter Oborne Online


Peter Oborne's outstanding biography of Basil D'Oliveira is the story of how a black South African defied incredible odds and came to play cricket for England, of how a single man escaped from apartheid and came to fulfil his prodigious sporting potential. It is a story of the conquest of racial prejudice, both in South Africa and in the heart of the English sporting estabPeter Oborne's outstanding biography of Basil D'Oliveira is the story of how a black South African defied incredible odds and came to play cricket for England, of how a single man escaped from apartheid and came to fulfil his prodigious sporting potential. It is a story of the conquest of racial prejudice, both in South Africa and in the heart of the English sporting establishment. The story comes to its climax in the so-called D'Oliveira Affair of 1968, when John Vorster, the South African Prime Minister, banned the touring MCC side because of the inclusion of a black man. This episode marked the start of the twenty-year sporting isolation of South Africa that ended only with the collapse of apartheid itself....

Title : Basil D'Oliveira Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story
Author :
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ISBN : 9780751534887
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 274 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Basil D'Oliveira Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story Reviews

  • Gerry
    2019-01-28 04:33

    As a young man Basil D'Oliveira would run from his parents' home in the Bo-Kaap (Upper Cape) all the way up the steep winding route to the top of Signal Hill. From its summit he would survey Cape Town's ugly demarcations, the white areas that he was forbidden to visit, the beautifully kept turf sports grounds where he could never play and he would watch the liners steaming in and out of the harbour, offering their hint of an escape to different worlds. He did not once guess for a moment that he might escape from being a non-white cricketer and print worker to the other side of the world and that once there he would gain fame and would be involved in the beginning of the end of South Africa's Apartheid policy. But that was what was, unknowingly, ahead of him.His story is fascinatingly and sympathetically told by Peter Oborne who uses Basil's own words often, reminiscences from friends, from his playing colleagues and most vividly quotes from official minutes and correspondence of both the English and South African establishments. And how revealing they are.Basil's father was a very good cricketer and it was no surprise when Basil followed in his footsteps. However, their cricketing prowess was restricted for they were classed as non-white and could not compete against white cricketers, nor could they go to Test matches and watch in comfort - they were restricted to the cage, which was specially set up for non-whites.All this did not necessarily hinder young Basil who entered the cricketing scene with a bang and was very soon regarded as one of the star non-white cricketers. But it did him little good in his home country and he desperately wanted to make his way in the game elsewhere. So when the great West Indian fast bowler Wes Hall had to pull out of a contract with the Central Lancashire League side Radcliffe in 1960, Basil was offered as an alternative. The legendary commentator John Arlott had much to do with this as he espoused Basil's cause to the Lancashire club and then encouraged Basil to accept their offer.He began modestly with Radcliffe for it was very different for him as he was suddenly the equal of his white team-mates and also of the community of Radcliffe, who took him to their hearts. His performances improved once he got to know the wickets but even so, as a youngster I well remember when Radcliffe came to town to play Blackpool and the posters always mentioned the professionals so it was 'Blackpool with Hanif Mohammad' and 'Radcliffe with Basil D'Oliveira' and my friends and I were asking 'Who is Basil D'Oliveira?' The question was posed because many of the league professionals were Test players, Garry Sobers, Bobby Simpson and others, so we were unaware who Basil was. We soon found out!After his successful seasons with Radcliffe he was signed by Worcestershire and after a qualifying period he was soon in the first team. His splendid form with bat and ball subsequently led to selection for England and everything looked rosy for Basil. And so it was until 1968 arrived when a winter England tour to South Africa was on the horizon.The question of Basil being selected to tour raised many questions and it was then that the deceit and duplicity of such bodies as the MCC, the South African Cricket Board, at least one of his influential England colleagues, politicians of both countries and business men, mainly from South Africa came out. Cricket was supposedly a gentleman's game but when one reads this account of the underhand goings-on that took place over this period, that statement is difficult to believe.The short story is that Basil was left out of the final Test against Australia (the reasons for this are very blurred and often misrepresented by those involved) but when one of the originally selected players stepped down, Basil was called into the team and duly replied to his critics with a superb 158. Naturally this improved his chances of being selected for South Africa and by the time of selection there had been any number of contacts between the two cricketing authorities and others who had a vested interest. The situation seemed to have been solved when he was, controversially, not selected. Was it a cricketing decision or a political one? The arguments followed.But they did not go on for long. Incredibly one of the touring party pulled out soon after selection so another player was required. Basil was chosen and that put the cat right among the pigeons. To cut to the chase, the tour was eventually cancelled and the injustice of Apartheid was shown to the world. South Africa were outlawed for sporting events and unknowingly at the time, 'The D'Oliveira Affair', as it was known, was to be the start of the Apartheid upheaval and the eventual re-admittance, many years later, of South Africa into the sporting world.Peter Oborne tells the story passionately, paints a superb portrait of Basil D'Oliveira, who throughout the whole controversy (along with his supportive wife Naomi) kept a calm and sensible exterior, and demonstrates how the politics of the game of cricket could at the time quite easily have been said to be somewhat corrupt. It is a truly superb read even for non-cricketing readers for it goes significantly beyond the boundaries of cricket.

  • Arlene
    2019-02-03 04:57

    This is a great story, beautifully told. A fascinating portrait of a remarkable life, set against the backdrop of apartheid. As someone who knows very little about cricket this was still very easy to follow, and obviously it's so much more than a sports book. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in the history of the struggle against apartheid, whether you're a cricket fan or not.

  • Malcolm
    2019-01-28 00:37

    D'Oliveira's story, that of a South African classed by the apartheid state as 'coloured', is one that exposes the absurdity of apartheid, and the seeming complicity of the English establishment in its continuation. His eventual selection to tour South Africa in 1968 became of the events that shifted British views of contact with apartheid. The back story, however, which Oborne tells well shows the efforts by the South Africans as well as key elements in English cricket and the state to keep him out of the team. In attempting to maintain the facade that sport and politics are separate, these forces managed to show just how intertwined they actually are.

  • Lawrence Patterson
    2019-01-25 06:51

    A book for cricket lovers and those that want to revisit the turmoil of the late 1960's caused by D'Oliveria's rise to the English Cricket Team and how a coloured achieved personal success and had South African politicians moving heaven and earth to avoid someone showing up Apartheid.It is a well researched and informative book and open your eyes to the racial discrinination in South Africa and how the English establishment coluded with the white establishmentThere is a lot about cricket and you need to know and appreciate the game. The politics is a bit thin in parts but it opened eyes then and still does.When you realise that this is about cricket as well as apartheid it is a good read and shows how different people reacted to one of the great turning points in sport and politics.

  • Mark
    2019-02-19 06:54

    A well-researched, fascinating book. Easy to see why it won the William Hill Sports Book of the year.

  • Phillip
    2019-01-24 05:35

    An excellent account of the personal struggle of one of the best all-rounders of the 1960's, put into the context of the sporting politics of apartheid. Without use of hyperbole or hysteria, the sometimes subtle horror of being a non-white in South Africa comes across all too painfully. There is a passage describing D'Oliviera's first few days in England, and him asking where the non-White queue for immigration is, and then the non-White carriage on the train to Lancashire that cannot fail to move. Well done Peter Oborne!

  • Venky
    2019-02-14 05:48

    An endearing and emotional account of one of the greatest cricketers who was never given his due on account of racial discrimination, recriminations and irrationality. His bonding with the immortal John Arlott makes for some blissful reading and reinforces the faith in humanity. Dolly will be well remembered!

  • Mick
    2019-01-24 01:44

    Nice and well written biography. Focuses the author's life till the SA tour by MCC in detail. Could have worked better if more detailed insight into his life after the withdrawal of the SA tour been given rather than restricting to a single chapter.

  • Ciaran Mcfadden
    2019-01-26 02:39

    Very good account of D'Oliveira and his struggle to play top level cricket. Highy enjoyable read.

  • Keiron
    2019-01-27 03:36

    A true triumph over the odds and hatred.