Cape Town - The Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) has expressed its sorrow at the death of Basil D'Oliveira.
"The WPCA mourns his passing and dips its banner to one of Cape Town's greatest cricketing sons," said WPCA President Beresford Williams on Saturday.
"We have been in touch with the family for the past few days, so the news is not unexpected, but the overwhelming feeling is one of great loss -and of the great meaning the name D'Oliveira has for cricket." Chief Executive Prof Andre Odendaal said, "This province has a cricket heritage spanning over two centuries and Basil's name is one of the first that comes up when reviewing the significant figures of the past . His name is written indelibly into the history of South African and world cricket."
"Basil D'Oliveira is one of four generations of his family associated with the 112 year-old St Augustine's CC and although he belongs to the world, the WPCA is proud of the city, the club and the non-racial tradition that nurtured him. His role will always be remembered. He was a living embodiment of the fact that far from being insignificant, the cricketers who played on the wrong side of the colour line in the bad old days were often the ones really sowing the seeds for the future." said Odendaal.
"His passing is a reminder, too, of the importance of transformation in sport and the need to truly level the playing fields so that as far as possible all children in South Africa have equal opportunities in the future," said Williams.
"It is only 20 years this year that cricket unity, based on the principles of inclusivity, non-racialism and equal rights, happened and we need to self-consciously work towards making these goals have meaning."