The material in our Basil D’Oliveira archive gives you a look at the sensational story that suggested that the South African prime minister, BJ Vorster, had tried, through an intermediary, to bribe Basil D’Oliveira to make himself unavailable for selection for the 1968 England tour to South Africa. Also read press reports on how D’Oliveira felt about not being able to tour South Africa. We also have extracts from D’Oliveira’s autobiography that tell the story of his cricketing life in South Africa, his early travails in England and Vorster’s infamous bribe attempt.
RESEARCH: Text/archive: Tshepo Maloi | Images: Nhlanhla Mthethwa
» CRICKET ON CAPE TOWN’S MEAN STREETS
Read extracts from D’Oliveira’s autobiography where he explains how he developed his love of cricket while playing as a child on the streets of Cape Town, and how he worked to make sure that he could afford to watch the polished professionals of Cape Town’s cricket circuit.
» HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Basil D’Oliveira’s early years in England were difficult. He was already an old man in cricketing terms, and his lack of experience of England conditions meant a steep learning curve. Read extracts from his autobiography about how he struggled to overcome adverse circumstances to fulfil one of his dreams: to play international cricket.
» A NUDGE AND A WINK
In these extracts from his autobiography, Basil D’Oliveira tells the story of his dealings with a seemingly shady South African businessman who tried to bribe him out of being in the running for the England tour to South Africa.
» DODGY DEALS AND DODGIER DEALERS
Read newspaper reports on D’Oliveira’s exposé of the South African businessman who tried to bribe the cricket star out of appearing for England during the latter team’s 1968 tour to South Africa. D’Oliveira felt that the South African public would not have had a problem with his inclusion in the team, and he wanted to tour South Africa to encourage white South Africans to rethink their approach to race relations.
» CRESTFALLEN CRICKETER
The Star’s article, "Offer to Basil: R80 000", April 23, 1969, or look at an image of the report: Page 1
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Basil D’Oliveira was "heartbroken" when he was omitted from the 1968 MCC England team to South Africa.Read
The Star’s article, "The moment of heartbreak", August 29, 1968, or look at an image
of the report.