England's cricket "eleven" began its first test match of the season as planned at "Lords" today (Wednesday 17th June), but a specially-selected "Rest of the World" team replaced South Africa as opponents.
England's cricket "eleven" began its first test match of the season as planned at "Lords" today (Wednesday 17th June), but a specially-selected "Rest of the World" team replaced South Africa as opponents. The South African team's tour of England was cancelled a month ago when the Cricket Council reconsidered its invitation following representation form the British Government which was concerned at the possible reactions of those who objected to South Africa's discrimination against coloured players.
The "Rest of the World" invitation team which includes players form the West Indies, Pakistan, India, Australia, and South Africa fielded first and quickly had England in trouble with skilful bowling. Among the English batsmen to fail was Basil D'Oliveira a coloured player whose last-minute inclusion in England's squad to tour South Africa last season was unacceptable to the South African Government and led to the cancellation of that tour also.
In an effort to avert financial disaster and to restore lost prestige to the game, the Cricket Council negotiated with some of the world's best players to contest the series of tests against England. The "Rest of the World" team boasts players who, between them, have won 382 tests caps....thought to be one of the strongest teams ever to play in England.
The first day's play proved rather one-sided, but it could well be the game's followers, who thrive on tradition, who will be on trial. In an unprecedented move...players' performance prizes have been sponsored by an Irish brewery and a London casino; instead of by the cricketing body.