BBC Sport - BBC Archive: Apartheid and sporting boycotts

Archive: Apartheid & cricket bans

Sport can sometimes find itself at the heart of a political controversy.

Apartheid in South Africa was one of the most contentious issues of the 20th century.

So when South Africa-born Basil D'Oliveira - banned from playing for the Proteas because of the colour of his skin - was named in England's squad to tour his native country in 1968, cricket crossed the sporting boundary into the political sphere.

England's tour to South Africa was cancelled as the ruling National Party refused to accept D'Oliveira's presence in the England squad.

The incident culminated in a ban on sporting ties with South Africa that would last for years.

In 1990, Mike Gatting led a team of England players to tour South Africa, defying a ban on playing there while the country remained segregated.

The tour ended prematurely when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, heralding the end of Apartheid.

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