South Africa under apartheid was subjected to a variety of international boycotts, including on sporting contacts. There was some debate about whether the aim of the boycott was to end segregation in sport, or to end apartheid together.


Cricket had been organised on racial lines in South Africa from its earliest days with the coloured cricketer Krom Hendricks excluded from provincial and national teams from the 1890s. However, the cricketing boycott was prompted by the reaction of the South African authorities to the selection of Basil D'Oliveira, a "Cape Coloured" South African, for the England national cricket team in 1968; see the D'Oliveira affair. The 1970 South African tour of England was called off and replaced by a "Rest of the World" tour featuring several South African players. The International Cricket Conference (ICC) imposed a moratorium on tours in 1970. There were several private tours in the 1970s and "rebel" tours in the 1980s. Participants in the latter were banned by their national federations upon returning. World Series Cricket, run outside the auspices of the ICC in 1977–79, included South African players in its "Rest of the World" team.

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