D'Oliveira rewarded with CBE
Sports Minister Richard Caborn has hailed the award of a CBE to Basil D'Oliveira in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as just reward for a sportsman who helped rid the world of injustice.
D'Oliveira's inclusion in an England cricket touring party in 1968 helped bring about the sporting isolation of apartheid South Africa after the regime refused to allow him entry because he was 'coloured'.
England pulled out of the tour and the events ushered in a sporting boycott lasting more than 20 years until South Africa scrapped its race laws.
Caborn, a founder of the Parliamentary anti-apartheid movement, said: "Basil D'Oliveira did as much as any sportsman to defy apartheid and he thoroughly deserves to be awarded a CBE.
"It was a watershed moment in the history of South Africa and it deserves recognition. He should also be remembered of course as a tremendous cricketer."
D'Oliveira, who moves up from an OBE, was actually South African-born but because he was designated 'Cape coloured' he was blocked from playing for the country of his birth.
Instead, the cricket writer John Arlott helped him launch a career in England where he established a reputation as one of the best all-rounders in the world.
He played in 44 Test matches for England, and for Worcestershire from 1964 until 1980.
Now 74, his health is struggling and his son Damian said: “We are all proud and delighted that he has been honoured in this way. It seems the older he gets, the more awards he collects."