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06 Dec 2004 00:00
The documentary Not Cricket—The Basil D’Oliveira Conspiracy will be broadcast in South Africa on December 14, shortly before the start of the Test series between South Africa and England.
SuperSport has acquired the rights to screen the 80-minute programme that has been described in Britain as “an indictment of shameful behaviour” and a “fascinating and shaming story”.
It will be shown on CSN and SuperSport 2 at 9pm and repeated on December 15.
Based on Peter Osborne’s book Basil D’Oliveira—Cricket and Conspiracy, the film tells a disturbing story of how the talented former Cape Town player was left out of the England team chosen for the 1968 tour of South Africa.
Unable to represent his own country because of apartheid laws, D’Oliveira had moved to England, forced his way into the MCC team and scored 158 against Australia shortly before the team for the SA tour was selected.
His omission from the touring team is a powerful part of what a Sunday Express writer described as “an exposé on corruption, blackmail, political chicanery” and “this damning indictment of racism”.
The documentary was first broadcast on BBC4 in June, when former England captain Colin Cowdrey’s role in D’Oliveira’s omission and allegations of a 50 000 pound bribe offered to the player made headlines.
Made by Paul Yule and presented by Osborne, the programme will be of interest to many South Africans; even those who have opposed the naming of a Newlands stand after the man known in all cricket-playing counties as “Dolly”.
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