Basil Lewis D’Oliveira CBE (born 4 October 1931) is a retired cricketer. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, he was classified as ‘coloured’ under the apartheid regime, and hence barred from first-class cricket. He captained South Africa’s national non-white cricket team, and also played football for the non-white national side.
He emigrated to England in 1960, where he played first in the Central Lancashire League, for Middleton, before joining first-class county Worcestershire in 1964 and becoming a British citizen. By 1966, he was being selected for the English national team, as an outstanding all-rounder, and he was one of the Wisden cricketers of the year for 1967.
When England were due to play the 1968-1969 Test series in South Africa, he was initially kept out of the English team by the selectors for political reasons (South African president BJ Vorster had threatened to cancel the tour if D’Oliveira was included), but reinstated when another player Warwickshire’s Tom Cartwright, dropped out. This decision and the consequent cancellation of the tour helped publicise the struggle against apartheid.
In recent years his health has waned. He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and receives round the clock care in a nursing home.
In 2004, a perpetual trophy was struck for Test series between England and South Africa, and named the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy. In 2005, he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Basil’s son, Damian D’Oliveira, also played first-class cricket for Worcestershire.