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1970 and Stop the Tour: English cricket’s last summer of chaos | Vic Marks

The successful campaign to prevent the team representing apartheid South Africa playing 50 years ago led to a Rest of the World team stepping in at the shortest of notices

From a purely cricketing perspective the summer of 1970 was probably anticipated more eagerly than the 2020 season, whereupon there was turmoil and a cancellation of the Test tour that left a great chunk of the cricketing community in despair.
The disruption then seems like a pinprick compared with today’s situation, but the bitterness engendered in 1970 was on a monumental scale. The best side in the world were due to tour England; the problem was the best side were South Africa.

Like today, the situation required government intervention, but the virus in question was of a different kind in 1970: the apartheid regime in South Africa. In 2020, cricket eagerly awaits permission from Westminster to start playing again; 50 years ago it was a Labour government that eventually made it impossible for the planned schedule of the summer’s cricket to go ahead.

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