WPCA tribute to D'Oliveira

2011-11-19 18:45

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."


  • Lodewyk - 2011-11-19 22:09

    Did we not all play a part to end Apartheid?

  • Solly - 2011-11-20 00:09


  • Zion - 2011-11-20 12:52

    I see the Basil D'liveira issue with some mixed feelings. I was a teen ager during the mid Sixties and at about that time D'Oliveira was living in a coloured township outside Walvis Bay.At that time he was not playing cricket for any local team. During that time the town was split in two: Some for BD'O and others anti BD'O. What I do recall is he was working in the fishing industry to earn a living and later returned to Cape Town. What affected the community at the time was the underhand and subversive attitude the D'oliveira camp had against the national laws and inevitably made the local newpaper headlines. That was never seen as part of what is known today as the Struggle but was then seen as a calculating method of taunting the authorities at a sensitive time and sowing dissension in the community.South Africans had other problems to worry about like their sone in a war in Angola. Basil was never seen as a martyr or a national hero probably because South West Africa, at that time was under a mandate enforced by the UN and enacted by the South African government. Fleeing to SWA could and did not clear him from any laws of the SA government. Later he returned to England and apparently lived his years out there. From a personal point of view, at the time, I was just not interested.

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