Sir John Major KG CH ACIB - A Fitting Tribute to Basil D'Oliveira
When Basil D'Oliveira was in his prime, I was just a young cricket lover.
He was an imposing figure on-field, both as a top class batsman and a more than useful bowler, always likely to break stubborn partnerships. But it was the way Basil played the game and his dignity in controversy that set him apart and gave him a unique vantage in the pantheon of cricket.
Faced with controversy over non-selection for the South African Tour in 1968, many players would have milked the public outrage, but Basil did not. He must have been deeply hurt but kept his counsel. When a vacancy later arose, he maintained a similar eloquent silence when he was selected. Nor did he rush to exploit the public mood when the Tour was cancelled.
Both on and off the field, Basil was a credit to cricket and his reputation is assured.
The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH