An unofficial tour to South Africa, thought Geoffrey Boycott, was ‘a business proposition of the type that might be considered in any walk of life’.
Oops. Off the field the first rebel tour proved an unprecedented spectacle, drawing frenzied condemnation around the world. The players were denounced as ‘the Dirty Dozen’ in the Houses of Parliament. The future of Test cricket itself was thrown into doubt and most tourists saw their international careers terminated. The cricket itself stood in stark contrast to the domestic hype and overseas rancour, initial excitement subsiding into dismal parody.
The tour stands as one of the most remarkable episodes in sporting history.
Squad: Graham Gooch (captain), Dennis Amiss, Geoffrey Boycott, John Emburey, Mike Hendrick, Geoff Humpage, Alan Knott, Wayne Larkins, John Lever, Chris Old, Arnold Sidebottom, Les Taylor, Derek Underwood, Peter Willey, Bob Woolmer.
Schedule and results
3-4 Mar Tour match at Berea Park, Pretoria. SAB XI (152/7d & 32/2) drew with South African Under-25s (170/8d).
6 Mar First ‘ODI’ at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. SAB XI (240/5) lost to South Africa (244/3) by seven wickets.
8-10 Mar Tour match at Newlands, Cape Town. Western Province (263/8d & 204/7d) drew with SAB XI (219 & 225/8).
12-15 Mar First ‘Test’ at Wanderers, Johannesburg. South Africa (400/7d & 37/2) beat SAB XI (150 & 283) by eight wickets.
17 Mar Second ‘ODI’ at Kingsmead, Durban. South Africa (231/6) beat SAB XI (152) by 79 runs.
19-22 Mar Second ‘Test’ at Newlands, Cape Town. SAB XI (223 & 249/3d) drew with South Africa (235 & 38/0).
24 Mar Third ‘ODI’ at Wanderers, Johannesburg. South Africa (243/5) beat SAB XI (111/7 from 23 overs) on faster scoring rate.
26-29 Mar Third ‘Test’ at Kingsmead, Durban. South Africa (181/9d & 143/2) drew with SAB XI (311/8d).
South Africa won the three-match ‘one-day international’ series 3-0.
South Africa won the three-match ‘Test’ series 1-0.