Mr Billy Griffith, Secretary of the Cricket Council, was interviewed in London today (Friday 22nd May) following a special emergency meeting of the council which reversed an earlier decision and cancelled next months's tour of Britain by a South African "eleven".
GV Lords Cricket ground (2 shots)
SV Weather vane
REPORTER: "Mr Griffith, what were the feelings of the Council when they had to reverse their decision this afternoon?"
GRIFFITH: Well, one of immense regret and disappointment, because I think they were reflecting the wishes and hopes and aspirations of hundreds of cricketers and cricket followers throughout this country, and its a very difficult thing...bearing that in mind.. the support this tour had from so many cricketers to have to accede to this request was obviously very very disappointing.
REPORTER: What was the reaction to the fact that Mr Callaghan did intervene with this request?
GRIFFITH: Well I mean, what would any reaction to such a request, coming from Her Majesty's Government, I think it was bound to make the Council feel that they had no alternative but to cancel the tour.
REPORTER: The reason I make the point is that you were so adamant on Tuesday when you said the tour would go on, and Mr Callaghan in fact only made a request...he didn't order you to cancel it, did he?
GRIFFITH: No, but I don't think...I think you should probably ask Mr Callaghan this, but I don't think he was in a position to order us to cancel the tour, but this is what he said, that he requested us to cancel the tour..and this was on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.
REPORTER: How did the Council vote this afternoon?
GRIFFITH: They didn't vote at all. They expressed the opinion that they had no alternative but to accede to the request.
REPORTER: What effect do you think this whole incident is going to have on the future matches involving groups from abroad?
GRIFFITH: Well, as the Council deplored the activities of certain people who have made this...exacerbated the situation, and, as they said in their statement this afternoon...and one obviously is worried, and we're all worried about the future, and you know when you allow minority or militant minority groups to interfere with a lawful pursuit, you're bound to be worried about the future."
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Background: Mr Billy Griffith, Secretary of the Cricket Council, was interviewed in London today (Friday 22nd May) following a special emergency meeting of the council which reversed an earlier decision and cancelled next months's tour of Britain by a South African "eleven".
Interviewed at Lords cricket ground after the meeting, Mr Griffith gave his, and the Council's, feelings on the cancellation of the tour.