By Neto Baptiste
Iconic Former West Indies batsman and Antiguan, Sir Vivian Richards, holds no malice against former teammates who opted to play for rebel West Indies squads in South Africa during the Apartheid era in 1983, and again in 1984.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, the former captain said that although he has no regrets over refusing a blank cheque to play in Africa, he understands the decision of others.
“To be fair, I don’t hold nothing over anybody. I know the circumstances as to why some of these individuals went to South Africa so I am not going to hold my hand up in any big way to judge anyone because that’s their decision. We all have certain decisions to make in life, the same decisions that now is basically a huge argument around this country and around the region in a sense about who is vaccinated and not vaccinated and all that sort of stuff,” he said.
Despite his strong objection to the “apartheid” tours, Sir Viv said that in some regards, they served a purpose.
“We called them whatever, the rebel tours and all of that, but that same team that went down there apparently did something in a big way where apparently, they saw an all-black team playing against an all-white team and the folks who came to witness that particular match saw a black team taking control of a white team. People who have been in control of their lives for decades, seeing them being humbled, black and white saw that in terms of kids and stuff like that so in a big way and in my view, that was a serious positive,” he said.
The South African rebel tours were a series of seven cricket tours staged between 1982 and 1990. They were known as the rebel tours because the international cricketing bodies banned South Africa from competitive international cricket throughout this period because of apartheid.
As such the tours were organised and conducted in spite of the express disapproval of national cricket boards and governments, the International Cricket Conference and international organisations such as the United Nations.