His life was filled with pain just because he is black. We can't even imagine the obstacles, hazards, shame that he had faced. Everyone can be inspired and motivated by his success story. We all know how blacks were affected and how their rights were taken away in the past as well as in the present. Even though we are talking about equal rights for all humans, in the US black people are being excluded and treated as untouchables even now.

Basil Lewis D'Oliveira

We are talking about Basil Lewis D'Oliveira who was born in Cape Town, South Africa. The country has blacks as major populations. But in cricket, there were only white people. 

At the height of apartheid, there was a rule that blacks should not play the game of whites known as cricket. At the same time, it was a game that blacks liked so much. They play competitively within themselves because they are ignored by whites. 


Basil Lewis D'Oliveira

That's how he became an excellent player in the non-whites game. However, he cannot even imagine playing for South Africa even in dreams. But people of South Africa, even whites admired his talent in cricket. 

Let's try. If the South Africa team ignores him, he decided to try to become a player in the homeland of cricket, England. Basil wrote a letter about himself to John Arlot, a commentator for BBC Radio. John didn't know Basil. But John thought just because of race, one's talent shouldn't get wasted. 

Two years have passed. Basil lost his confidence and was in a very traumatic condition because he convinced himself that he can't play cricket in his lifetime. At that time, he got a letter from John stating that he had been selected as a Professional cricket player in an English club in England. After that, Basil came to England and became a British citizen in 5 years. Basil was selected to play for the England cricket team in the year of 1966. His batting record had been increasing with each match. 

Then the England team was to travel to South Africa for a match. It's high time for Basil to prove his talents to his motherland where he got rejected just because of his race. In his previous match with Australia, Basil didn't bat well almost in all matches. But in the last match, he scored 158 runs for England and became the reason for England to win the cup. 

His next tour with South Africa. The state then said that we would never allow a non-white cricketer to play in their land. England said that Basil had been dismissed from the South Africa Tour due to a lack of talent in the previous tour with Australia. England was in turmoil in favor of Basil. Basil maintained his silence because of his second nation which he loved the most, abandoned himself for no reason. 

Some years later, luck came back. Basil replaced bowler Cartwright as Basil was the best all-rounder.

                  Photo: ROGER BAMBER/REX

At the same time, South Africa canceled all matches with England due to the inclusion of Basil.

In a year, South Africa became a world-apartheid country due to its inhumane apartheid policies towards blacks.

A whole country (England) was in turmoil for the elimination of a player and the withdrawal of a country (South Africa) from the competition for the inclusion of a player, both have happened only in Basil's life. 

He was married to Naomi, their sons Damin D'Oliveira and Ivan D'Oliveira both have become as cricket players who play for South Africa. A land which thrown Basil out for no reason, he then proved cricket is not just a game for him; it's his life; he solely dedicated his breath to cricket. 

Now we can say he is a God of cricket and the light of Black people in South Africa. He passed on cricket to his next generation and his sons serve for their land, South Africa. 

He died on November 19, 2011, at the age of 80. 

Talent can break any barrier. 

2 Comments

Post a comment

Previous Post Next Post