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 cancelled.
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.
South 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 1970.
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 June 1970.
Time planned to be spent in England79 days
(1 June - 18 August)
The original programme of fixtures included 28 matches played on 23 grounds over a four-month period
� not first-class
Time planned in England before First Test:16 days
( 1 June - 17 June)
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
D DrawnCanc Cancelled
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)