MCC has reacted with great sadness to the news of Basil D’Oliveira’s death, aged 80, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The MCC flag at Lord’s was at half mast.
Former England and Worcestershire all-rounder D’Oliveira played 44 Tests between 1966 and 1972, scoring 2,484 runs at 40.06 and taking 47 wickets with his medium pace.
His most famous innings came in 1968 when he made 158 at the Oval against Australia, which helped England secure a thrilling series leveling victory.
A South Africa born Cape Coloured, he was thrown into the international spotlight later that year, when a controversial MCC selection saga surrounding his participation in a tour to his homeland caused the trip to be cancelled.
The incident prompted the international sporting boycott of Apartheid era South Africa.
MCC issued a statement on Saturday 19 November, reflecting on the news:
“MCC is very saddened to hear of the death of Basil D'Oliveira,” it read.
“He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Club for his contribution to the game.
“He was an outstanding cricketer, an exceptional all-rounder and gave tremendous service to Worcestershire County Cricket Club, MCC and England. The MCC flag at Lord's has been lowered to half mast in his memory.”
D’Oliveira moved to England in 1960 at the persuasion of the broadcaster and journalist John Arlott.
He subsequently played in the Lancashire leagues, before Worcestershire came calling in 1964.
A Test debut followed against the West Indies at Lord’s at the age of 35 and he went on to be an England regular until his last Test against Australia at the Oval in 1972, making five centuries in the process.
His Worcester career continued until 1980 and D’Oliveira finished with 19,490 runs at 40.26 to go with 551 wickets at an impressive 27.45.
His son Damian made his Worcestershire debut two seasons later and went on to play almost 500 matches for the county, before retiring in 1995.
Basil’s grandson Marcus spent some time on the MCC Young Cricketers staff at Lord’s.