On Thursday 28 March (7.45pm) our guest speaker will be Charles Barr who’ll be giving a talk about The D’Oliveira Affair – 50 Years On.
Some will recall the events of 1968, others will at least know of them: a year of upheavals and protests worldwide, and of non-violent upheaval in the cricket world, provoked by the reluctance first of the England selectors, and then of the white South African government, to accept the exiled Cape Coloured player Basil D’Oliveira as a member of the England team to tour his native country. The repercussions from this led to South Africa’s exclusion from international cricket for 25 years, while D’Oliveira himself remained an integral member of the England side for several more years.
This talk is not linked to a book launch, or to the visit of a star cricketer, but is based on an insider’s account of the protest campaign of September 1968, mounted from within the MCC, the private club which in those days still controlled the game. Society member Charles Barr initiated the campaign and helped to orchestrate its early stages, drawing in others like David Sheppard and Mike Brearley. Here he recalls and reflects on those events from the perspective of today.
Charles is a retired UEA academic whose main publications have been on British film history, but he writes occasionally for the Journal of the Cricket Society, e.g. in the Autumn 2018 issue, and for Wisden, and is a member of the Wisden production team.