Western Province Cricket Association  and Jive Saint Augustine Cricket Club have joined forces to host an Inaugural Gala Dinner and Youth Cricket Experience Day as part of a legacy project in honour of the legendary former England player and South African-born and bred icon Basil DOliveira.

 

The Grand Arena in the GrandWest Entertainment Complex will host the gala dinner on Thursday, the 7th January and the Youth Cricket Experience Day will take place at the home of Jive Saint Augustine Cricket Club, Elfindale (the area alongside Princess Vlei) on Friday, 8th January 2016.

 

Guests will be treated to an evening of fabulous food, entertainment, an auction, and will have ample opportunity to socialize and mingle with some of cricket’s greatest ambassadors, former international players and celebrities, while celebrating the legacy of D’Oliveira.

 

An immensely talented cricketer, D’Oliveira, debarred from playing cricket against the best in South Africa, plied his trade with extraordinary success for Worcestershire and represented England in 44 tests at an average of over 40, while taking 47 wickets.

 

D’Oliveira was a dazzling entertainer when at the peak of his powers.  He had a beautifully relaxed, sideways-on stance and a very short back-lift, while his powerful forearms gave him command of all the strokes and after a steady, watchful start to an innings he would accelerate to score freely and attractively, according to the Biographical dictionary of World Cricketers.

His bowling was steady, medium pace with swing either way and disconcerting wobble.

 

Despite being an attractive, free-flowing batsman, D’Oliveira’s finest innings were stamped by his refusal to be beaten and he tended to make runs even when England were in desperate trouble, noted the authors of the publicationThe Selected – the 25 greatest South African cricketers of all time.

 

D’Oliveira’s roots were properly acknowledged when he belatedly walked to the middle of Newlands for the first time on 2nd January 2000 to the acclaim of a packed crowd as one of the ten nominees for South Africa’s cricketer of the century award.

 

“Longevity, defiance, stylish craftsmanship, the ability to beat the odds that were stacked against him as high as Table Mountain to become one of the most widely acclaimed cricketers in the world, are all characteristics that contributed to the legacy of Dolly,” said Nabeal Dien, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.

 

“We believe the gala dinner and cricket experience day would honour Basil, and that they will be inspired by his dogged determination to follow his dreams and leave a remarkable legacy,” said Beresford Williams, chairman of the WPCA. “He still played first-class cricket at the age of 49.

 

“When he was selected to replace Tom Graveney in the England team and was denied inclusion, which resulted in the cancellation of the tour, it culminated in South Africa eventually being driven out of international cricket along with other sports.

 

“But D’Oliveira’s name will forever live on beyond the so-called D’Oliveira Affair, as his was a life of unwavering dignity.  He might have represented South Africa from the 1950’s to the 1970’s if politics was not the shameful intruder, yet D’Oliveira persevered, scoring 18 919 first-class runs and 2484 test runs, while claiming 548 first-class scalps.”

 

FOR BOOKINGS & FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE GALA DINNER, PLEASE CONTACT:

Natasha Petersen – tashevents@gmail.com or +27 82 302 9391
Ashraf Allie – ashrafa@staugustinecricketclub.co.za or +27 82 442 7920 or lindsayo@cricket.co.za 0216572015