South African Prime Minister, John Vorster, has spoken on the inclusion of Basil D'Oliveira in the Marylebone Cricket Club (M.
VORSTER SPEAKING (SOUND ON FILM)
"They made -- that is the M.C.C. cricket committee -- they made their choice on merit, so they said time and again and I accept that statement. But at the moment the decision was made there was an outcry -- an outcry because a certain gentleman of colour was omitted on merit by the M.C.C. selection committee. From then on D'Oliveira was no longer a sportsman but a cricket ball (LAUGHTER). The team as constituted now is not the team of the M.C.C. It is the team of the anti-apartheid movement (APPLAUSE). If you ask me where do we stand at the moment I now say on behalf of South Africa, where as we are and have always been prepared to play host to the M.C.C. even in spite of their attitude to Rhodesia or Colin Bland (Rhodesian cricketer refused admittance to Britain last month) -- I say in spite where as we were always prepared to play host to the M.C.C. We are not prepared to receive a team thrust upon us." (APPLAUSE).
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Background: South African Prime Minister, John Vorster, has spoken on the inclusion of Basil D'Oliveira in the Marylebone Cricket Club (M.C.C.) team scheduled to tour South Africa later this year. Mr. Vorster said yesterday (Tuesday) at a political rally in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, that the chosen M.C.C. team was a "team of the anti-apartheid movement" and that it had been thrust upon South Africa.
Basil D'Oliveira, who is a Cape Coloured, was raised in South Africa but now lives in England. He has played previously for England representative matches but was originally omitted when the M.C.C. team for South Africa was announced. D'Oliveira was included when another player had to withdraw because of injury.