Hereford & Worcester

Basil D'Oliveira: Plans for bronze statue revealed

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDamian D'Oliveira said the plans to support young cricketers would have excited his father - but not the statue idea

Plans to erect a statue of cricket legend Basil D'Oliveira at Worcestershire County Cricket Club's New Road ground have been revealed.

The Basil D'Oliveira Foundation has been launched with the aim of raising £100,000 for the bronze statue.

It is also promoting an exchange scheme for cricketers in England and South Africa, where D'Oliveira was born.

He played county cricket for Worcestershire between 1964-80 and represented England in 44 Tests.

D'Oliveira died at the age of 83 in November.

Howard Nicholls, from the foundation, said the money for the statue would come from donations and would not be paid for by the cricket club.

"He had friends and fans all over the world and I'm sure that we'll get donations from different places," he said.

"It's not the fact that he was one of the nicest people you could meet and a fantastic cricketer, but it's also because he put the spotlight on apartheid and all its evils," he said.

'Cape Town connections'

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption D'Oliveira played 44 Tests for England after moving from South Africa

D'Oliveira's call up to the England squad for their tour of South Africa in 1968 marked the start of the country's sporting isolation.

The South African government made it clear a "Cape coloured" would not be welcome.

The tour was called off and the incident culminated in a ban on sporting ties with South Africa, which would last until the early-1990s.

The statue will by made by sculptor John McKenna, who went to school with Basil Oliveira's sons in Worcester, and will stand outside the new main entrance to the ground.

The foundation also hopes to raise £200,000 to fund an exchange scheme for young cricketers between England and South Africa.

Basil D'Oliveira's son, Damian said: "Dad would love the fact we're able to help young cricketers, here and in his place of birth.

"Our connections are still strong in Cape Town and I know the experience for young players will make them better."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites