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Children play cricket on the railway tracks

on March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh.


Photograph: Tom Shaw

Getty Images


Boston Globe > Big Picture > Cricket passion

4 April 2011



















Australia hope for a miracle as England turn the screw

The Guardian > Sport        p. 3        15 August 2005


















Captain rides his luck to silence carpers

The Guardian p. 30        12 August 2005



















England's attack leave Australia on the rack

The Guardian > Sport        pp. 2-3        13 August 2005


















The Guardian        Sport        p. 8        30 March 2006


Pietersen suffers hangover after sweep slogfest

Flamboyant No4 expresses remorse

but still feels that the shot has more pluses than minuses

Lawrence Booth in Delhi

The Guardian

Thursday March 30, 2006

















cricket        UK















in-pictures - Guardian pictures gallery
























cricket        USA










Richard Benaud    Australia    1930-2015


The path from the cricket field

to the commentary box is well trod,

but never with greater distinction

than by Richie Benaud,

known to many as the voice of cricket










A Brief Guide to Cricket Terms,

From Beamer to Wicket        NYT        FEB. 17. 2015










Guardian video series > The Laws of cricket        UK


























Ebony Rainford-Brent

The first black woman to play cricket for England.

She represented 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.


Portraits of England’s black cricketers – in pictures

Award-winning 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    08.00 BST

















cricket legend > Imran Khan        UK










cricketer        UK












England’s black cricketers         UK










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        UK
































the Oval






win the toss





Australia 398 & 329-5 dec; India 185 & 200






a crushing 342-run win











Test century







strike a maiden Test century




















barren run










century        UK






score a century against N L

hit century        UK


























innings        UK








England v South Africa        2008        UK






The Ashes        UK


















Michael Holding        UK


















Richie Benaud was called

“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

Getty Images


Richie Benaud, Commentator Whose Native Tongue Was Cricket, Dies at 84


APRIL 10, 2015




















Not cricket

It is played on grass,

but with mallets instead of bats

The Guardian        p. 8        9.8.2005








croquet        UK





















Corpus of news articles


Sports > Cricket




Basil D’Oliveira,

a Symbol for Cricket and for Equality,

Dies at 80


November 26, 2011

The New York Times



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 eventual triumph.

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 apartheid.

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 canceled.

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 national team.

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 accept him.

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 for him.

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.

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 short leg.

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 for 38)

Second Innings
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.

Series detail

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.

    From The Times archives >
    On This Day - August 31, 1977, The Times, 31.8.2005,






April 17 1970


Why I'm off the air


From The Guardian Archive


April 17 1970
The Guardian


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 affected.

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.

John Arlott

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.

England triumphed 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 impossible.

From The Times archive,
On This Day - August 19, 1926,










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