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Saturday, December 7, 2013

India Vs South Africa ~ 1st ODI in 1991 .... and Gleneagles Agreement..

In the 1st One dayers, India was squarely thrashed …. Do expect Dhoni’s boys to come back….  Do you remember the 1st ODI at Calcutta on 10th Nov 1991 between South Africa and India ~ a record crowd of 90000 attended this match when 10 South Africans made their debut ! – do you know the significance of this match and why there were 10 debutants ??

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is no more…..  he would ever be remembered as anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation.

Gleneagles in Scotland has  nothing to do with eagles….but would be remembered … Apartheid ("the state of being apart") was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP) governments, the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants were curtailed and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained. Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under Dutch rule. Apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance and violence, and a long arms and trade embargo against South Africa.

The Gleneagles Agreement was the all important treaty,  unanimously approved by the Commonwealth of Nations at a meeting at Gleneagles, Auchterarder,Scotland. In 1977, Commonwealth Presidents and Prime Ministers agreed, as part of their support for the international campaign against apartheid, to discourage contact and competition between their sportsmen and sporting organisations, teams or individuals from South Africa. As a sequel, the Commonwealth imposed  a sporting ban on South Africa because several of the sports most popular among white South Africans are dominated by Commonwealth member states, for example cricket and rugby union.

Earlier the Basil D'Oliveira affair pulled stop to the schemed  1968–69 tour of South Africa by the England cricket team. The point of contention was whether or not the England team selectors would include the eponymous Basil D'Oliveira, a mixed-race South African player who had represented England in Test cricket since 1966, having moved there six years earlier. With South Africa under apartheid, England's potential inclusion of a non-white South African in their tour party became a massive political controversy. Under pressure from the British government and public to show opposition to apartheid, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) tour organisers sought to maintain links with South Africa and have the series go ahead without incident. The MCC selectors faced considerable criticism in Britain after they named a team without D'Oliveira; when they then included D'Oliveira after all following an injured player's withdrawal, outcry instead came from South Africa. Compromise proved impossible, and the MCC reluctantly cancelled the tour.

That brought a big fullstop to Sporting in international arena for South Africa ~ and the talented cricketers of the Nation could not play in 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987 World Cups…… and had not played an official One day International till 1991.  Rugby union was (and is) an extremely popular sport in New Zealand, and the Springboks were considered to be New Zealand's most formidable opponents. In between there was the Springbok tour – that South African rugby union to New Zealand in 1981 polarised opinions and inspired widespread protests across New Zealand. So most countries strongly discouraged having sporting contacts with it.

In Cricket there were to be un-official tours in fact 7 of them staged between 1982 and 1990. They were known as the rebel tours because South Africa was banned from international cricket throughout this period as a result of the apartheid regime.  None from India participated …. There were so many talented cricketers who lost their prime during this period and would include : Vincent van der Bijl, Kevin McKenzie, Alan Kourie, Kenny Watson, Roy Pienaar, Ray Jennings, Henry Fotheringham, Ken McEwan, Garth Le Roux  and some who had played little of International cricket like : Graeme Pollock (23 Tests), Mike Procter (7 Tests) and Barry Richards (4 Tests)
Clive Rice and his team....

That one dayer in the initial part of the post was the time when South Africa staged a comeback in International cricket and were the first-ever official ODIs played by South Africa. India won the series 2-1.  All the players were playing in ODI for the first time save Kepler Wessels, who had earlier played for Australia.  The match was reduced to 47 overs per side. India won the toss and chose to field. South Africa scored 177/8 in their 47 overs with notable contributions from Wessels (50) and Adrian Kuiper (43). In their reply, India started badly with Allan Donald grabbing the first 3 wickets to leave India at 20/3. Sachin Tendulkar (62) and debutant Pravin Amre (55) guided India to victory.  Sachin was the man of the match.  Clive Rice and Azharuddin were the captains.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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