Setting the cat among the pigeons

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Basil D’Oliveira knew he was within sight of realising an incredible dream when he was recalled to the England team to play Australia in the final match of an Ashes test series, at the Oval, in 1968. Just one good performance would see him packing his bags for South Africa, the land of his birth – and a test series against the Springboks. Or so he thought. D’Oliveira plundered 158 runs off the Aussie attack. But when the team was announced, his name was missing. D’Oliveira would never forget that day: it was Wednesday, 28 August – and he just broke down and cried.


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