Top positive review
the former who was a player and coach for Worcester like his dad and the latter who has just kicked ...
on 14 March 2017
Basil D’Oliveira: The man who learnt the most from Nelson Mandela: How to change the world peacefully:
In the writing of four autobiographical volumes, (none of which I have yet read) Mr D’Oliveira has demonstrated that he really cared and that, arguably unbeknownst to him, his spirit lives on.
Peter Oborne in 2004 wrote a biography that is exhaustive and that does justice to Basil’s deeds on and off the cricket field and indeed to his lasting memory.
His family name lives on through son Damian and grandson Brett, the former who was a player and coach for Worcester like his dad and the latter who has just kicked off his career with the same county.
The Apartheid movement and the opposition thereto will always find a place in memory and moreover in South African history.
Those cricketers like Barry Richards, Mike Proctor and Eddie Barlow were the innocent victims just as, to a more severe extent were the black and coloured people who used to have to pile into standing-room-only segregated cages to watch them.
The politicking at Lord’s via the MCC and the activists like Blairite Peter Hain – these people deserve little dignity since they showed all too little of this quality, in contrast to the cape-coloured cricketer who had it in spades. The under-handedness must now be a source of regret to those that remain, as this book chronicles how nasty it all became.
What never ceased to amaze me was that at the high pressure, indeed, inflection points of the numerous ructions, D’Oliveira’s cricketing performance seemed to peak, scoring runs and taking wickets with alacrity.
Those who know the heavy, armed conflict, one on one between batsman and bowler (which I do not pretend to) will realise that these performances were phenomenally brave and an example to all, especially younger people and younger still cricketers.
The power of sport to transcend ever-greedy and self-serving politics is and was in the 1960s invigorating. The articulate genius that was John Arlott brings back memories of great men. Arlott’s support of Basil was loyal and perpetual.
People then as now, didn’t really see the enormity of what was happening in South Africa before their very eyes. What this book does is rekindle the memories, the blessed truths and the conniving falsehoods for us all, and I really savoured the experience.
Thank you Peter Oborne, and thank you broadcasting entrepreneur Michael Grade, for recommending it to me on the radio one night (very late!).
14th March 2017