19 Nov 2011

Cricket legend Basil D'Oliveira dies

9:57 pm on 19 November 2011

Former England all-rounder Basil D'Oliveira has died at the age of 80.

Born in South Africa, D'Oliveira moved to England in 1960 due to the lack of opportunities for non-white players.

In 1968 he was named in England's squad to tour South Africa which was then cancelled as South Africa's government refused to accept his presence.

D'Oliveira played county cricket for Worcestershire between 1964 and 1980 and represented England in 44 Tests, scoring 2,484 runs at an average of 40.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola led the tributes to D'Oliveira whose health had been deteriorating for some time.

"He was a man of true dignity and a wonderful role model as somebody who overcame the most extreme prejudices and circumstances to take his rightful place on the world stage," said Majola.

"The circumstances surrounding his being prevented from touring the country of his birth with England in 1968 led directly to the intensification of opposition to apartheid around the world and contributed materially to the sports boycott that turned out to be an Achilles heel of the apartheid government.

"Throughout this shameful period in South Africa's sporting history, Basil displayed a human dignity that earned him worldwide respect and admiration."