The 1970 tour would have been South
Africa’s eleventh Test-playing tour of England.
While MCC acknowledged awareness of ‘minority feeling’ that the tour should not
take place because of South Africa’s
ban on Basil D’Oliveira in 1968-69, it stated on 1 May 1969 that “to continue
to play against South
Africa serves the best interests of the
game”. On 11 December a meeting of the first-class counties (the TCCB) also
recommended continuing with the tour.
Following disruption of an unofficial South African cricket tour
in 1969 and of the Springboks’ rugby tour in 1969-70, Peter Hain’s Stop the Seventy Tourdemonstrators prepared measures to disturb
matches, demanding that the visit of the 1970 South African cricketers be
The Cricket Council, the governing body of English cricket, met
at Lord’s on 12 February 1970 when they decided to revise the tour programme
cutting it from 28 to 12matches.Grounds at which the police would find it difficult to maintain order
were excluded from the itinerary.The
planned arrival was put back to 1 June, and the tour would also end earlier
than originally planned, on 18 August.
On 20 May the Cricket Council voted
for the tour still to go ahead but pressure was maintained on them to abandon
the tour until two days later on 22 May 1970 when the Home Secretary, James
Callaghan, directed that the tour should be cancelled.John Vorster, South African Prime Minister,
accused the British government of caving in to blackmail.
Africa’s next tours, of Australia in 1971 and of England in
1975, were also subsequently cancelled, beginning a period of isolation that
lasted until 1991.
Because the South African tour
would have produced about £100 000 for distribution to the English counties
and to other poverty stricken cricket bodies, it was deemed essential to
substitute another series.Guinness
agreed to sponsor five Test matches between England and a Rest of the World
XI (see separate page)
The manager’s name was
announced on 8 December 1969.
Arthur H Coy (Eastern Province – convenor
of selectors),Jack Plimsoll (Western Province),Roy McLean (Natal)
and Eric Rowan (Transvaal).
An independent television programme Sports Arenain August
1969 alleged that the South African Cricket Association (SACA) was
considering including in its tour party non-white players, who would be drawn
from the Lancashire Leagues. The SACA denied any knowledge of that and
responded that “the team won’t be a multi-racial one.” However, Jack
Cheetham, the president of SACA, later said (on 15 December) that merit and
not colour would be the sole factor determining selection.
Unavailable:Trevor Goddard (retired at end of series against Australia)
Tour Party Announced :14 March
Not selected : Peter de Vaal, Denis Gamsy.
Time between selection and planned departure from South Africa63 days
(14 March to 1 June)
The team was scheduled to arrive in England on 1
Time planned to be spent in England79
(1 June - 18 August)
The original programme of fixtures included 28
matches played on 23 grounds over a four-month period
† not first-class
planned in England
before First Test:16 days
( 1 June - 17 June)
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
The South African tour would
have produced about £200 000. Government compensation for cancellation of the
tour was £75,000, which was inadequate to cover the loss to first-class
counties.They estimated that cancelling
the tour cost English county clubs between £120,000 and £150,000.
Had the tour not been
cancelled, the Pakistan
and India tours of England
in 1971 would not have taken place.
“By cancelling thetour, the Cricket Council helped to ensure
that Test cricket would continue as a multi-racial sport and not split into
separate white and no-white groups”(Cricket and Raceby Jack Williams)