Of the South African cricketers who are presently in Adelaide, and who are soon to engage in the first Test of a much anticipated three-match series against Australia, how many would know about the man who helped to start it all?Of late, the South African minister for sport has made it a prerequisite of selection that the team should include six players of colour, but 50 years ago, no one with a hint of colour was allowed any nearer a Test match pitch than the cage - an enclosure that kept them segregated from their fellow white human beings.It has been a long, hard and often painful journey. Along the way, many fine cricketers of all backgrounds have had ambition thwarted. In the coming weeks, the joy on the face of Temba Bavuma when he makes a score, or Kagiso Rabada when he captures an Aussie wicket, will delight all but the most extreme of politically motivated white South Africans. Up above, looking down on it all, will be the pioneer of a movement that began in England in 1964 and, in his own case, reached a remarkable crescendo four years later.Basil DOliveira was a Cape Coloured cricketer of special ability who made his debut for Western Province in the non-white provincial tournament of the late 1940s at the age of 16. In a club match, he once made 225 out of a team total of 236 in little more than an hour. Legend has it that he hit 16 sixes, and a whole lot of fours from the other balls bowled. He bowled lively medium pace and ruthlessly exploited the uneven matting surfaces on which these ostracised lovers of the game found their fun. Unsurprisingly, the standard of cricket was pretty ordinary, but for a decade DOliveira stood above it, a colossus of the only game he could find in town. Frustrated beyond measure by the apartheid policy that drove the South Africa of the day, in 1959 he wrote to John Arlott, the liberally outspoken English broadcaster and journalist, and asked for help. Arlott was moved by DOliveiras story and helped to secure him a job as a pro in the Lancashire League for the 1960 season. After a dodgy start in cold weather and on damp pitches, he got the hang of things - so much so that he pipped a gifted fellow by the name of Garfield Sobers to the No. 1 spot in the leagues batting averages.The next season was barely any different, neither were the next two. In 1964, Worcester signed DOliveira on the back of Tom Graveneys kindly words and after a year of 2nd XI cricket while qualifying for British citizenship, he made his first hundred for the county on a tricky early-season pitch. The technique acquired on the matting back home and forensically close attention paid to the ball itself, rather than the peripherals, allowed DOliveira to finish eighth in the national batting averages as Worcestershire won their second consecutive championship title. To the astonishment of all those cricket people back home - whether black, white, brown, pink or just green with envy - in the summer of 1966, Dolly was picked for England.This was the moment he caught the eye of a young boy playing Test matches in the street outside his London home. Stumps were chalked on the wall and Basils first Test match hundred was replicated with that childs enthusiasm for thrilling back-foot drives and a generally fearless approach to the game. The following summer, DOliveira was in the team to face the Australians, and though England lost the first Test, he finished unbeaten with 87 in the second innings when England were bowled out for 253.I was that boy and I was fascinated by this man and by his bat, upon the face of which was a logo hitherto unseen. I scraped off the bat-makers logo on my own piece of willow and drew, or painted perhaps, my own version of the deep black triangle that pointed down to the bats toe. It was another ten years before I was to learn that this Duncan Fearnley bat was made by a man who existed, a former county cricketer who lived and breathed the game from his small factory in the middle of Worcester, which supplied handmade bats to some of the worlds finest players. I came to know Duncan well and was never to use any other make of equipment during my own playing days.None of us knew it at the time - and only a very few predicted the seismic knock-on effect of DOliveiras selection - but Englands scheduled tour to South Africa the following winter was already in jeopardy. John Vorster, the South African prime minister and an especially hardline apartheid activist, had already flagged his disapproval of DOliveiras presence in the England side around the corridors of Lords.Incredible as this now sounds, at a dinner before the second Test, to celebrate the 200th match between England and Australia, DOliveira was asked by the secretary of MCC, Billy Griffith, if he would declare himself unavailable for England and pledge allegiance to South Africa. Basil was furious. His 20-year story - from the rough grounds of the Cape, where there seemed to be no escape and no hope of fulfilment, to the lush turfs of Englands green and pleasant land - was on course for a happy ending. Griffith blew that notion apart, though not half so devastatingly as the selectors, who omitted DOliveira from the 200th Test. Try to imagine this moment for yourself; it is difficult, for it so beggars belief. Basil was dropped by England because the prime minister of South Africa said so.He returned to Worcester, but for a month or so couldnt make a run. Then, in a world of mysterious ways, a mysterious thing happened. With England still one down in the Ashes series, the selectors named a team, and unusually, with it were named three replacements. Two were bowlers, the third was DOliveira. The bowlers broke down, Roger Prideaux - who, incidentally, was later to emigrate to South Africa - pulled out of the match with a virus, and Basil was back.He made 158.Peter Oborne, in his award-winning Basil DOliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy, insists that it is the greatest innings ever played. After all, says Oborne, he played it against an attack comprising... Vorster and South African cricket at its most corrupt, supported by the weight of the British establishment...No other innings in test history has done anything like so much good.After a storm on the last day, England won the match when Derek Underwood brilliantly exploited the wet pitch. Dolly captured the breakthrough wicket and Deadly did the rest. DOliveiras innings made headlines all around the world, which meant there was a serious problem. Announce DOliveira in the team and risk the wrath of Vorster or leave him out and live with a backlash on the home front. The tour party to South Africa was to be named within a couple of days. The selectors, along with those in their corridors of power, debated long into the night. They announced a team without Dolly and tears fell down the cheeks of a gentle, delightful man.I say gentle, and by that I mean of nature. He sure loved a party, though by the time I roomed with him on a short tour to the Middle East in 1980, I was told he was easing off. He must have been something at his best then, because often was the occasion that he hit the hay as I was emerging from it. His stories were gold, his love of life irresistible. We laughed and laughed. He was still using a bat with the black-triangle motif, as by now was I - three stumps angled in a V and joined across the top by two bails. DOliveiras omission shook things up all right. The newspapers were on the warpath, the public werent far behind, and the MCC called a special general meeting. This national debate featured in both parliament and church. Three weeks passed before another mysterious thing happened. Tom Cartwright, a medium-fast bowler of note, was declared unfit for the tour. Basil, a batsman whose bowling was handy but no more, was chosen to replace him. Vorster went ballistic, calling it not the team of the MCC but of the anti-apartheid movement. He got a standing ovation at the National Party Congress. The tour was off.In 1970, South Africa were due in England. No chance. The anti-apartheid movements in Britain now had more than just scraps from which to feed. Peter Hain, a young liberal, led a campaign against the tour and the government stepped in to cancel South Africas invitation. A Rest of the World team, which included four Springboks, came instead. Though Australia went to South Africa in 1969-70, the return visit, in 1971-72, was aborted. Another Rest of the World team replaced that tour.For 20 years South Africa remained in isolation. The pain was clear and present. Names that might have adorned the history books, names of all origin and background, were denied. It had taken the sporting authorities 75 years to make a stand against an evil discrimination and a relatively small group of sportsmen suffered for it. After DOliveira many a South African cricketer came to reside in and play for England. They say sport and politics should not mix. Sport and politics are joined at the hip.Basil passed away on a November day five years ago. He was 80 they say, which tidies up the uncertainty about his age. He is missed around Worcester every day. Indeed, he is missed everywhere. He was brave, he was feisty and he was strong; he was young, gifted and he was coloured. And he knew he was right, so he blazed a trail that eventually helped to change the order of the world. Fabulously, he was named one of South Africas ten cricketers of the 20th century. He was made CBE in England in 2005 and has a stand in his name at New Road, Worcester. Series between England and South Africa are now played for the Basil DOliveira Trophy.Had the ministry of sport insisted on six players of colour in Basils day, he would have been a shoo-in and played alongside luminaries such as Roy McLean and Johnny Waite, Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter. As it happened, it was Geoffrey Boycott and John Edrich, Ray Illingworth, Alan Knott and John Snow who became his team-mates and friends. Not one of them would have a bad word to say about this man who crossed a Rubicon and inspired a generation.The quota system, as it has been called, is not universally popular because there is potential in it to compromise the quality of the team. It is important for South African sport in general that heroes are born out of winning teams. But no one can argue about the thinking or the direction. All Basil would ask is that it is applied with common sense and fairness to one and all. Discount Nike Off White Free Shipping . 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Cheap Nike Off White China . -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No. ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Of the three remaining teams on the Oakland Raiders regular-season schedule, left tackle Donald Penn might be most worried about this weeks game in San Diego.The Chargers (5-8) have the fourth-worst record in the AFC, are the only team in the West already eliminated from playoff contention and are riding a two-game losing streak.Yet Penn says you wouldnt know it from watching San Diego on film. For that reason alone, Penn has his concerns heading into Sundays road game.The thing is, you watch their film, theyre playing still like theyre in the mix of things and thats the scary part, Penn said Thursday.We have to make sure we go in there and take care of our business and make sure were on point with everything and dont take these guys lightly.That shouldnt be a problem considering that Oakland has a chance to clinch its first playoff berth since 2002. Beating the Chargers puts the Raiders in; a loss and theyll need some help to qualify this weekend.Oakland won the first matchup earlier this season when San Diego botched a potential game-tying field goal late in the fourth quarter.That game at the Oakland Coliseum in Week 5 also marked the debut of Chargers first-round pick Joey Bosa. Bosa had two sacks of the Raiders Derek Carr and had three tackles for losses on the day.Penn spent part of the game matched up against Bosa and will face him again on Sunday. Because the Chargers like to move Bosa around on the defensive line, Raiders right tackle Austin Howard will get his shot at Bosa, too.They dont get talked about enough, but they have a lot of good guys on their (defense), Penn said.Bosas really come along this year. He moved all over in that game. Hes been doing that all year. Hes still moving around on the film I watch.ddddddddddddThe Raiders offensive line has held up well for most of the season, allowing just 13 sacks in 13 games -- the fewest in the NFL. That should make for another intriguing matchup.The biggest group we faced this year, Bosa said of Oaklands offensive line. Tough group. Theyll maul you off the ball if youre not playing good technique and youre not playing fundamentally sound. We just have to come into this game and attack it the same way we did in Week 5.While San Diego is making a final push before heading into the offseason, the Raiders are trying to rebound from one of their worst games of the season after losing 21-13 in Kansas City last week.Penn doesnt think that will be an issue against a division rival.I think thats why weve been successful because we dont look ahead, Penn said. We take it one week at a time. Thats big, especially with having a young team like we do.Its big because some of the young guys could start thinking ahead, start looking ahead. But keeping that even keel, going week by week, gets you to focus more on that week and on that plan.Game notes First-round pick Karl Joseph (toe) did not practice and was seen walking gingerly in the Raiders locker room. Wide receivers Michael Crabtree (finger) and Amari Cooper (shoulder) were limited. Left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) and linebackers Perry Riley Jr. (hamstring) and Malcolm Smith (hamstring) were also limited. ... 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