Sports > Cricket
Children play cricket on the railway tracks
on March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Photograph: Tom Shaw
Boston Globe > Big Picture
> Cricket passion
4 April 2011
hope for a miracle as England turn the screw
The Guardian > Sport p. 3 15
Captain rides his luck to silence carpers
The Guardian p. 30 12
attack leave Australia on the rack
The Guardian > Sport pp. 2-3 13
Sport p. 8
30 March 2006
Pietersen suffers hangover after sweep
Flamboyant No4 expresses remorse
but still feels that the shot has more pluses
Lawrence Booth in Delhi
Thursday March 30, 2006
in-pictures - Guardian pictures gallery
Richard Benaud Australia
The path from the
to the commentary box is well trod,
but never with
than by Richie Benaud,
known to many as the
voice of cricket
A Brief Guide to
From Beamer to Wicket
NYT FEB. 17. 2015
Guardian video series > The Laws of cricket
The first black
woman to play cricket for England.
England in 22 ODIs and seven T20i matches.
She set up the ACE
(African-Caribbean Engagement) programme
to help give young
black cricketers a pathway to progress in the sport.
England’s black cricketers – in pictures
sports photographer Tom Shaw
was looking for a
project to shoot during the pandemic
and was shocked
that only 21 black cricketers had represented England.
With the help of
Mark Butcher he set about tracking down
all of those
players who have represented England at any level.
Sat 4 Sep 2021
cricket legend > Imran Khan
Basil Lewis D'Oliveira, cricketer 1931-2011
Outstanding England batsman
whose barring from a tour
to his native South Africa
led to its expulsion
from international cricket
Alec Victor Bedser, cricketer 1918-2010
win the toss
Australia 398 & 329-5 dec; India 185 & 200
a crushing 342-run win
strike a maiden
score a century
against N L
England v South Africa
Richie Benaud was
“perhaps the most
influential cricketer and cricket personality
since the Second World War”
by Gideon Haigh,
one of the sport's most authoritative chroniclers.
Photograph: Xavier Laine
Commentator Whose Native Tongue Was Cricket, Dies at 84
APRIL 10, 2015
It is played on grass,
but with mallets instead
The Guardian p. 8
Corpus of news articles
Sports > Cricket
a Symbol for Cricket and for Equality,
Dies at 80
November 26, 2011
The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Just as Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson pursued their athletic
dreams and developed superlative skills before altering history, Basil
D’Oliveira, who was classified as colored under South African apartheid, wanted
only to play at the highest levels of his sport, cricket. His struggle to do
that in a country of government-enforced racial segregation became a powerful
symbol in the ultimately successful fight against apartheid.
D’Oliveira had to move far from South Africa before his experience could shine a
light on its system of racial injustice. Unable to perform there in competition
commensurate with his skills, he moved to England, became a British citizen and
joined England’s national cricket team. He rose to international prominence
when, in 1968, South Africa canceled a much-anticipated visit by the English
team because it wanted to include him in the contests, against whites.
Because of its refusal, South Africa, long a cricket power, did not play another
international cricket match until 1994. Nelson Mandela, who led the fight
against apartheid, called the D’Oliveira episode decisive in his movement’s
D’Oliveira, who had Parkinson’s disease, died at 80 on Nov. 19 in England,
according to the governing organization Cricket South Africa. Because he may
have lied about his age, he may have been as many as three or four years older.
Cricket South Africa gave no other details.
D’Oliveira was an accomplished player for England, participating in 44 major
international competitions, or test matches. A powerful, focused batsman, he
scored 19,490 runs in the top English cricket league and 1,859 in test matches.
The numbers are considered impressive, but experts reckon that he could have
doubled them had he immigrated to England sooner.
Paul Yule, who made a 2006 documentary about the D’Oliveira episode, “Not
Cricket,” said in an interview on D’Oliveira’s Web site that his significance
came from his role in “a pivotal point in 20th-century politics,” not from his
sporting skills, though they were indisputable.
“Here was a man who didn’t look particularly dark-skinned,” Yule said, “but the
inequality of the South African system meant you were classified either white or
nonwhite, and since he was classified as nonwhite, he could play no part in the
national sporting life of his country.”
D’Oliveira, who was of Indian-Portuguese heritage was easily classified as
colored. Many other nonwhite cricketers were subjected to what was called the
pencil test to determine which segregated league they would play in. A pencil
was placed in a player’s hair, and if the pencil fell out, the player was called
colored and placed in the colored league. If it stayed put, he was judged black
and placed in the black league.
South Africa was ostracized in global sports beginning in the 1950s with table
tennis. By 1964 antiapartheid organizers had succeeded in getting the country
barred from that year’s Olympics, and in 1970 the International Olympic
Committee expelled the country from the Olympic movement.
The country’s absence from international sports rankled South Africans; by 1977
they ranked it in a poll as one of the three most damaging consequences of
South Africa had been selecting exclusively white cricket teams for test matches
since 1889. As the game blossomed in places like the Caribbean, India and
Pakistan, South Africa found itself playing only all-white teams from England,
Australia and New Zealand. Peter Osborne, in the 2004 book “Basil D’Oliveira,
Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story,” said the cricket authorities
justified this by saying that cricket was a sport for whites, and that if blacks
or coloreds did take it up, they “played at an abysmally low level.”
Basil Lewis D’Oliveira, a tailor’s son, disproved this by excelling on the
cricket fields around Cape Town, where he was most often said to have been born
on Oct. 4, 1931. He went on to become a star performer on nonwhite teams, in one
year captaining a black team on a trip to Kenya.
But he was well into his 30s when he realized he had no hope of taking part in
top competition in South Africa. A vaunted West Indian team was scheduled to
tour the country in matches against a team composed of blacks and coloreds, of
which D’Oliveira was captain, but when antiapartheid forces protested that such
a high-profile sports event might give credibility to the regime, the trip was
Deciding to leave the country, D’Oliveira wrote to John Arlott, a prominent
cricket commentator in England, asking for help. Arlott got him a contract with
a minor league team in the Lancashire League.
At first D’Oliveira was lonely and poverty-stricken. Having lived so long under
apartheid, he found himself searching in vain for playing-field entrances and
facilities for nonwhites. After a slow start, his play picked up, and his wife
and son, who survive him, joined him. He eventually earned a spot on England’s
When he sought to join the squad for the trip to South Africa, however, the
sport’s governing body in England, the Marylebone Cricket Club, turned him down.
Its officials said he had been passed over for athletic reasons, an assertion
British newspapers called outlandish. It later emerged that the president of
South Africa, John Vorster, had threatened to cancel the event if D’Oliveira was
part of the team.
Still, when another player was injured, the cricket club had a change of heart
and named D’Oliveira to replace him. D’Oliveira said the South African
government offered him a sizable bribe and a coaching job in South Africa if he
would withdraw. When he refused, it terminated the competition rather than
Queen Elizabeth made D’Oliveira an officer of the Order of the British Empire in
1969 and promoted him to a commander in 2005. In 2000 he was named one of the 10
South African cricketers of the century, despite not having played for South
Africa. The trophy for the test series between England and South Africa is named
D’Oliveira played in the top division of English cricket into his late 40s. Most
cricketers retire in their early 30s. He just wished that he could have hit the
big stage sooner, say in his 20s, he said in 1980.
“I was some player then,” he said. “I was over the hill when I came to England.”
Basil D’Oliveira, a Symbol for Cricket and for Equality,
Dies at 80,
England bowl out Australia
to regain the Ashes
August 23, 2009
From Times Online
Patrick Kidd and Ben Smith England have regained the Ashes with victory by
197 runs on a thrill-packed evening at the Brit Oval. Despite the defiance of
Mike Hussey, who was the last out for 121, Australia were unable to compete with
England's aggressive bowling as expectation increased of an historic win.
Graeme Swann took four wickets and Stephen Harmison three as Australia collapsed
after tea from 327 for five to 348 all out.
England had gone into the final session needing five wickets for victory, but
once Swann broke a dogged partnership of 91 between Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin,
the rest of the Australia lower order capitulated.
Swann dismissed Hussey in the 103rd over of Australia's innings as the
left-hander finally pushed carelessly at the ball and turned it into the hands
of Alastair Cook at short leg to spark celebrations all around the ground. The
Nottinghamshire off spinner had also made the critical breakthrough eight overs
earlier when he broke a sixth-wicket stand worth 91 between Hussey and Brad
Haddin, the Australia wicketkeeper, had made an aggressive 34 when he advanced
down the pitch and tried to loft the off spinner over midwicket, but failed to
get to the pitch of the ball and lofted a simple catch to Andrew Strauss.
Johnson had faced just five balls when Steve Harmison induced an outside edge
and Paul Collingwood, who had spilled two chances earlier in the day, took an
outstanding catch at second slip, diving across in front of Andrew Strauss.
With the score on 343 Peter Siddle became Harmison's second victim of the
innings, trying to push the ball into the leg side and only succeeding in
getting a leading edge to Andrew Flintoff at mid-on. Clark was mortified to be
dismissed the very next ball, giving Alastair Cook a simple bat-pad catch at
Hussey, was a one-man act of defiance, marching to his 10th Test century in a
hugely impressive innings made under the most intense pressure considering that
due to his failings earlier in the series, he was probably playing for his place
in the Australia side.
It was fitting he was the last man to go, being caught at short leg by Cook off
the bowling of Swann, for 121.
Two astonishing run outs in successive overs broke Australia's resistance midway
through the second session of day four of the final Test and all but ensured
that England will regain the Ashes. Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were the
victims and, with Marcus North also sent back to the pavilion before tea,
Australia are reeling on 265 for five, still 281 away from victory.
The match and series turned decisively towards the home side when Ponting was
run out for 66 by Andrew Flintoff an hour after lunch.
Mike Hussey had struck the ball towards Flintoff at mid-on and Ponting was slow
to respond. A direct hit found the Australia captain a foot out of his ground.
It ended a stand of 127 in 39 overs between Hussey and Ponting that had started
to unsettle the home support at the Oval.
In the next over, Clarke was out in outlandish fashion. He drove a ball from
Graeme Swann on to the boot of Alastair Cook at short leg, from where it
ricocheted to Andrew Strauss at leg slip. The England captain had the presence
of mind to shy at the stumps and Clarke, who had toppled forwards, was run out
by a matter of millimetres.
It was the first and second run out that Australia have suffered this series.
Lovers of statistical coincidences might like to note that the previous time
Australia lost two wickets in one innings to run outs at the Oval was in 1896,
when England won the match and the series 2-1.
North then departed to a fine piece of glovework by Matt Prior, who took the
ball above his head as North swept at Swann and removed the bails with North's
toes on - but not behind - the line.
Those moments of fielding brilliance made up for two uncharacteristic errors by
Paul Collingwood, who dropped Ponting and Hussey, the former off a ball
deflected up and over Collingwood's shoulder off the overworked boot of Cook.
The Essex batsman has made a minimal contribution to the match so far, but his
right boot should be mounted and displayed in the Oval Long Room for the crucial
role it has played in this game.
England, who need five wickets to reclaim the urn they surrendered so miserably
in Perth in December 2006, had taken two early wickets on the fourth morning of
the decisive fifth Test when Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann broke Australia's
opening stand of 86.
Ponting and Hussey came together without a run between them, but by lunch they
reached 171 for two in pursuit of an improbable world-record 546 to win. The
pair continued to push on after the interval, passing the 100 partnership and in
doing so pushing Australia past the 200 mark and within 343 runs of what would
be a world-record run chase.
Fifteen minutes into the day, England had snatched control when Simon Katich
padded up to a ball from Swann that pitched on off stump and went straight on to
hit the left-hander in front of his wicket. Billy Bowden raised his crooked
finger to send Katich on his way, to the evident delight of Daniel Radcliffe,
the Harry Potter actor, who was seen applauding a fine piece of wizardry.
England: First Innings 332 (I R Bell 72, A J Strauss 55; P M Siddle 4 for 75)
Second Innings 373 for 9 dec (I J L Trott 119, A J Strauss 75, G P Swann 63; M J
North 4 for 98)
Australia: First Innings 160 (S M Katich 50; S C J Broad 5 for 37, G P Swann 4
S R Watson lbw b Broad 40
S M Katich lbw b Swann 43
*R T Ponting run out 66
M E K Hussey c Cook b Swann 121
M J Clarke run out 0
M J North st Prior b Swann10
†B J Haddin c Strauss b Swann 34
M G Johnson c Collingwood b Harmison 0
P M Siddle c Flintoff b Harmison 10
S R Clark c Cook b Harmison 0
B W Hilfenhaus not out 4
Extras (b 7, lb 7, nb 6) 20
Total (102.2 overs) 348
Fall of wickets: 1-86, 2-90, 3-217, 4-220, 5-236, 6-327, 7-327, 8-343, 9-343.
Bowling: Anderson 12-2-46-0; Flintoff 11-1-42-0; Harmison 16-5-54-3; Swann
40.2-8-120-4; Broad 22-4-71-1; Collingwood 1-0-1-0.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pak) and B F Bowden (NZ).
Man of the match: S C J Broad.
Men of the series: M J Clarke and A J Strauss.
First Test: Match drawn (at SWALEC Stadium).
Second Test: England won by 115 runs (at Lord’s).
Third Test: Match drawn (at Edgbaston).
Fourth Test: Australia won by an innings and 80 runs (at Headingley Carnegie).
England bowl out
Australia to regain the Ashes, STs, 23.8.2009,
From The Times archives
On This Day - August 31, 1977
England drew with Australia
in the final Ashes Test at the Oval,
to record a
3-0 victory in the series
JUST HOW little confidence Greg Chappell’s Australian side had left when they
came to the end of their tour at the Oval yesterday was shown when they made no
effort in the fifth Test match to put England under pressure. Rather than
declaring, they batted on until they were all out for 385 (a lead of 171) and
only two hours and three quarters were left.
Australia were delighted no doubt, to make comfortably their highest score of
the series. This was, in fact, only the third time they have passed 300 in their
last 11 innings against England. Even so, after Brearley had been out in the
third over of England’s second innings, caught at short leg when Thomson made a
ball lift unexpectedly, and then Woolmer had been caught, Chappell may have
regretted not getting England in earlier.
Boycott narrowly escaped being caught at square leg, hooking at Malone; the
light began to go, and on its motto theme with Boycott presenting the broadest
of bats to the Australian bowlers, the series ended.
Not often these days does a side collapse quite as Australia did in the middle
of the series, against opponents who do not include a pair of genuinely fast
bowlers. Tomorrow, in twos and threes, the Australians start their journey home.
Uneasy about their future, they have fallen prey to an English side that has
well deserved its welcome success.
The Times archives >
On This Day - August 31, 1977, The Times, 31.8.2005,
April 17 1970
Why I'm off the
From The Guardian Archive
April 17 1970
I shall not broadcast on the matches of the South African cricket tour of
England arranged for 1970. The B.B.C. has accepted my decision with
understanding and an undertaking that my standing with them will not be
This action has not been dictated by mass influences. Apartheid is detestable to
me, and I would always oppose it. On the other hand, I am not satisfied that the
cricket tour is the aspect which should have been selected as the major target.
It would have seemed to me more justifiable, and more effective, to mount a
trade embargo or to picket South Africa House. Surely the Nationalist South
African Ambassador is a thousand times more guilty of the inhuman crime of
apartheid than Graeme Pollock who, throughout the English summer of 1969, played
cricket for the International Cavaliers XI with eight or nine West Indians and,
before he went home said: "What great chaps — there couldn't have been a better
bunch to play with."
Jack Plimsoll, the manager of this touring team, was an intimate friend of mine
on the South African tour of England in 1947, before the election of the first —
Malan — Nationalist Government and the introduction of apartheid. Every South
African [player] of my acquaintance has already played with, and against,
non-white cricketers. Only a multi-racial match before the Vorster (Verwoerd)
Government banned such fixtures for ever, provided the expert assessment of
Basil D'Oliveira's ability which enabled me to persuade Middleton to give him a
contract to play in England. Not all South Africans are pro-apartheid
Crucially, though, a successful tour would offer comfort and confirmation to a
completely evil regime. The Cricket Council has failed fairly to represent those
British people — especially cricketers — who genuinely abominate apartheid. The
council might have determined — and been granted — terms which would have
demonstrated its declared disapproval of apartheid. It did not do so. To persist
with the tour seems to me a social, political and cricketing error. It is my
limitation and advantage that I can only broadcast as I feel. Commentary on any
game is pleasure; it can only be satisfactorily broadcast in terms of shared
enjoyment. This series cannot, to my mind, be enjoyable. It seems unfair for me
to broadcast about the tour in a manner uncritical of its major issues, while
retaining the right to be critical of them in this newspaper.
It is my hope to write and talk about cricket in which the minor issue of a game
is not overshadowed by the major issue of principle.
From The Guardian
Archive > April 17 1970 > Why I'm off the air,
G, Republished 17.4.2007, p. 34,
From The Times archives
On This Day -
August 19, 1926
England regained the Ashes after 14 years,
setting Australia a target of 415 runs
to win the fifth Test.
by 289 runs
AFTER a day full of excitement, England won
the final Test Match at the oval yesterday by 289 runs, and wrested from
Australia laurels which she had worn since 1921.
There could be no doubt that, on the day’s play, victory went to the better
side, but on the final day England was able to add to her team a 12th player in
the rainstorm which broke over the ground before lunch, and a 13th in the hot
sun which followed during the afternoon. England on the other hand had had an
equally difficult time to survive on the previous morning, and yesterday she
grasped every opportunity which came her way.
An appreciative crowd, which included during the day the King of Iraq, Prince
Arthur of Connaught, and the Prime Minister, settled down to see what the
remaining English batsmen would do. Geary soon left, but, with Rhodes and Tate
together, the spectators found plenty to cheer. When Rhodes was out leg before
wicket the crowd sighed. The rain came down, but continued long enough for
Larwood to be bowled. Then Strudwick defied the attack until the rain could be
denied no longer. By 3 o ’clock a resumption was possible, and the English
innings quickly closed for 436, leaving the Australians to get 415 runs to win.
The task was a tremendous one, and events soon showed that it would be
From The Times archive,
On This Day - August 19, 1926,
Related > Anglonautes >