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Clarke hails inspirational D'Oliveira

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Basil D'Oliveira

In a glowing tribute to Basil D'Oliveira, ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: "He transcended our sport, radiated kindness, courtesy and courage and will always be fondly remembered in English cricketing circles."

ECB chairman Giles Clarke today paid tribute to the former England and Worcestershire all-rounder Basil D'Oliveira who has died aged 80.

D'Oliveira played 44 Test Matches for England, scoring 2,484 runs at an average of 40, and also represented Worcestershire from 1964 to 1980.

Giles Clarke said: "Basil D'Oliveira was more than just a cricketer. He personified the bravery and determination of the South African people's struggle against apartheid, and his own remarkable achievements, starting a Test career at 34, an age when most players are considering retirement, showed the world just what he and his people could accomplish.

“His finest performance for England was undoubtedly his magnificent 158 at The Oval against Australia in 1968 - an innings which would ultimately ignite an international campaign against sporting apartheid.

“He transcended our sport, radiated kindness, courtesy and courage, and will always be fondly remembered in English cricketing circles as 'Dolly.'

“We send our sympathies to his wife Naomi and family, who were at his side throughout his extraordinary career, and to Worcestershire County Cricket Club where he made such a significant contribution, firstly as a player and latterly as coach to a very successful County Championship winning side in 1988 and 1989.

“Basil had many friends and admirers right across the cricketing world and his personal battle to overcome discrimination in sport remains an inspiration to all. He will be greatly missed.”