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Offline vb

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The Unforgiven
« on: June 21, 2010, 08:40:35 AM »
Very good read.


The unforgiven
Twenty-four years ago 18 West Indians made history when they ventured into apartheid South Africa to play a series that went down in legend. A look back at the rebel tour of 1983
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
August 2, 2007
Text size: A | A

Franklyn Stephenson signs autographs during the tour Allsport

June 30, 2006. The first day of the final Test between India and West Indies at Sabina Park. Shortly after the tea interval Danny Germs makes his appearance in the George Headley Stand. He gesticulates wildly, craving attention. It does not take too long for the cops to banish him to a quiet corner.
Talk to him and you would be convinced that the whole world has conspired to finish him off. He vividly describes the murder of his son, talking you through the whole plot, miming the bullet ripping through his temple. Three people nearby overhear and are quick to caution that none of it is true.

When Jerome Taylor, a fellow Jamaican, gets a standing ovation for his five-wicket haul, Danny cannot control himself. "I could have done that," he sobs. He begs for money at the end of the conversation and hugs you when he sees the 500-Jamaican-dollar note. He blushes when asked what he will do with the money. "A bit of booze, a bit of crack."

Richard "Danny Germs" Austin, who played two Tests and a solitary one-dayer for West Indies in the 1970s, was at one time known as the "right-handed Sobers". Locals still talk fondly about Austin's talent - he could open the batting, play in the middle order, bowl canny offspin and sharp medium pace and keep wicket as well. Austin last played competitive cricket in 1983. Today he is a wreck, begging on the streets of Kingston, taking refuge in cocaine. Herbert Chang played one Test for West Indies on the 1978-79 tour of India and had a distinguished first-class career. He was not allowed to play after 1983. They say he lives in Jamaica but nobody knows where. They say he lost most of his money to a woman he trusted. They say he is mentally unstable. They say he is dying.

Lawrence Rowe, one of the finest batsmen to have played for West Indies, was a national hero in Jamaica ... until 1983. He then decided to emigrate to Florida to become a businessman. Locals remember him being severely ostracised, hiding in the Kingston Club to watch Tests at Sabina Park, not wanting to attract the public gaze. Franklyn Stephenson is widely regarded as the greatest allrounder never to have played for West Indies. At the peak of his career, when he replaced Richard Hadlee at Nottinghamshire and managed a staggering 1,018 runs and 125 wickets in a season, he could not make the cut. Even today, despite his expertise and vast experience, nobody wants his coaching services. Why? "It's all because of '83. Nobody has forgotten it still."

In Station Hill, a middle-class locality of Bridgetown in Barbados, you are likely to run into David Murray, son of the great Everton Weekes. Murray, a brilliant keeper and stylish batsman, was one step away from being a part of the legendary side of the 1980s. Sadly it proved a bridge too far. Things went downhill for Murray after 1983. These days he is almost a pariah in his home town. Skeletally thin, he is often spotted on the beaches, providing foreigners with "stuff". He refuses to speak initially but opens out freely once he has wangled $20.

The common thread linking all these cricketers is the summer of 1983, when 18 West Indian 'rebels' undertook a path-breaking tour to South Africa. On January 15, 1983, under the shadow of Cape Town's Devil's Peak mountain, with a cloud of racial tension hovering, in an intensely oppressive political climate, began one of the most controversial series of all time. The 16,000 eager spectators who filled Newlands were not just watching a West Indies "rebels" side play their opening game on South African soil, they were witnessing the breaking of a barrier.

Before South Africa's sporting isolation politics had dictated that the only international cricket teams allowed to tour the country were from England, Australia and New Zealand. In late 1959 plans had been almost finalised for a West Indies team, under the captaincy of Frank Worrell, to tour. That tour was eventually scrapped because of public pressure in South Africa. But, even if it had gone ahead, Worrell's side had been scheduled to play against non-white teams in South Africa. Here at Newlands it was much more than just Western Province v West Indians. It was White v Black, something novel to most South Africans.

Within 18 overs of the one-day game the West Indians, led by Rowe, had slumped to 42 for 4. Ali Bacher, the former South Africa captain who was the architect of the tour, began to fret. The recent tour by a Sri Lankan side, who had struggled to match up to the might of the South African opposition, had seen poor crowd response and had led to heavy financial losses.

Collis King hits out on his way to 60 in the final match at Durban Allsport
The West Indians, though, were a far stronger outfit. In Rowe and Alvin Kallicharran they had two of the finest West Indian batsmen; in Bernard Julien, Stephenson, Collis King and Austin, four world-class allrounders; in Sylvester Clarke, Ezra Moseley and Colin Croft, a trio of devastating fast bowlers; and in Murray arguably the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the Caribbean.

Enter King, the swashbuckling Bajan allrounder most famous for his dazzling 86 in the 1979 World Cup final. Tall, lithe and brilliantly athletic, he instantly captured the imagination. As David Dyer, writing in World Cricket Digest put it: "His execution is so inventive, so full of flair and so astonishingly powerful that he became a South African hero within 90 minutes of reaching the crease." He made 101 in the Johannesburg 'Test' against South Africa, prompting four young (white) fans to charge on to the ground bearing a banner "Coll is King".

For a side that was initially wary of the public reaction the sense of acceptance was overwhelming. Stephenson, then a 23-year-old fast bowling allrounder for Barbados, recalls the opening game vividly. "The majority of the fans were white, the blacks were mainly cleaning the stands. When we walked out on to the field to defend 204, I remember the guys talking about having nine slips because nobody wanted to stand near the boundary. We feared we would get objects thrown at us, maybe get beaten up. I was very tense because I had been asked to field at third man.

"Then a little white kid ran on to the ground and offered me a Coke. I refused. He came back at the end of the next over and I thought, OK, let me try. I took the bottle, had a little sip and gave it back to him. You should have seen the sight at the end of the next over. There must have been about 15 kids around me, offering me drinks. It was so touching."

It was just the first of several memorable incidents on the month-long tour, one where the West Indians, with their naturally aggressive brand of cricket, were the toast of South Africa. In a milieu where a white man risked being jailed if found entertaining a black one, in cities that had distinct areas where blacks were forbidden, the West Indians were embraced. No amount of opposition seemed to matter. Hassan Howa, the leader of the South African Cricket Union, reaffirmed his policy of "no normal sport in an abnormal society" and endorsed advertisement hoardings that screamed "Don't watch television". But nothing could hold the sky-rocketing interest in check. The third one-dayer attracted what is thought to be the biggest crowd ever to watch a cricket match at Berea Park in Pretoria, widely regarded as the heartland of apartheid. It was an astonishing sight. Bacher, unable to control his tears, stated emphatically: "If you've won over Pretoria, you've made it."

Murray remembers the reception during a visit to Soweto, the country's largest black urban complex: "The kids had never imagined they would meet any cricketers. Seeing us and being coached by us, they were completely ecstatic."

Croft had to endure the ignominy of being ejected from a whites-only carriage on a train but even he ended the tour "so impressed it ain't funny". One of Stephenson's experiences in particular was indicative of the social change that the cricketers were instigating. "In Port Elizabeth a tall, white guy, also named Stephenson, took me to a [whites-only] supermarket and a lot of heads turned. I got to the counter and the lady asked me to sign something. At that moment everybody stopped their work and rushed towards me for an autograph. To actually walk into a white supermarket and stop business was quite something."

Dyer encapsulated the South African mood: "One thing is certain: the interest which the tour generated is immeasurable. Take a drive past any school and you'll see children not playing their traditional game, soccer, but cricket - taking turns to be Collis, Sylvester or Franklyn."

Emmerson Trotman batting in the tour opener at Cape Town Allsport
Cult status in South Africa was in stark contrast to the outrage back home. The 18 West Indians had not just undertaken a tour but defied their governments, the United Nations and the cricket authorities to enter the forbidden land of apartheid. There were ominous precedents in this regard. In 1970 the Guyana government had declared that Garfield Sobers, then West Indies' captain, would not be allowed into the country unless he apologised for a visit to Rhodesia on which he had been photographed having lunch with Prime Minister Ian Smith. In 1974 an international team sponsored by the British financier Derrick Robins were not allowed to include Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago on their itinerary because Robins had also sponsored a similar team to South Africa. In 1981 the Georgetown Test was aborted because England picked Robin Jackman, who had played as a professional in Rhodesia and South Africa.

Now a West Indies team were actually playing in South Africa. It would no doubt serve as a PR coup, indicating that the country had indeed broken down the barriers of apartheid, even though the system legally enforced was to the disadvantage of the black majority. The players were doomed once they went against the various governments that strongly supported the anti-apartheid movement.

Michael Manley, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, echoed the sentiment in his famous A History of West Indian Cricket: "To the members of the black diaspora the oppression which continues unabated in South Africa has become the symbol of more than a tyranny to be overthrown. Apartheid points like a dagger at the throat of black self worth in every corner occupied by the descendants of Africa."

On January 6, 1983 Allan Rae, president of the West Indies Cricket Board, publicly praised Rowe and Croft for turning down an offer to go to South Africa. Five days later Rowe and his band furtively flew out to Miami, using a British West Indies Airways flight as a decoy and boarding an American Airlines flight three hours earlier. As they exited the Jan Smuts International Airport in Johannesburg a crowd of about 100 clapped and cheered. In one corner three black men held up a poster: "Freedom First - Cricket Later".

On January 12 an editorial in the Barbados Daily Nation lashed out at the rebels. "Perhaps, as they make their long journey to Johannesburg, the players can reflect on the fact that, had they been born in Soweto and not St Peter, Cape Town and not Spanish Town, their sporting talent would never have seen the light of day," it said. (Incidentally the Nation was the only paper that did not boycott the tour; it even sent a journalist, Al Gilkes, to cover the games.)

Joining the large section of critics were the West Indian captain, Clive Lloyd - "I know that some of them are out of work and the money is very tempting but that is not all in life" - and fast bowler Michael Holding. Money, no doubt, was the clinching factor. It was reported that the Test cricketers who went on the rebel tour would be paid $120,000 (60,000) for two seasons while the others would get $100,000. Finding a place in the all-conquering West Indies side of the time required almost superhuman ability and, unlike first-class cricketers in England, those on the fringes were financially crippled.

Writing in the Nation soon after the tour began, Tony Cozier unravelled the link between the seven Bajan cricketers who undertook the journey, articulating their monetary positions. None had worked in Barbados during the off-season for some years preceding the tour. Clarke, who had three daughters to support, was a carpenter by trade but had not worked as one since he began his cricket career in 1978. Moseley had been a waiter at a south coast hotel before he signed a contract to play in one of the English leagues. King's father was a foreman at a sugar factory. Emerson Trotman occasionally worked in a car rental firm but had no permanent job in Barbados. And Alvin Greenidge had no professional employment since he began playing overseas. In fact, one of the rebels, Albert Padmore, in a letter to the Barbados Cricket Association on behalf of the island's players, spelt out that economic considerations were the chief reason.

E Lawson Bayley, a columnist for the Sun Herald, was one of the few who empathised with the players: "Something is seriously wrong when men who live in glass houses, drive air-conditioned Mercedes, eat lunch at a hotel every day, vacation in Paris and keep two wives can tell a poor man that he must emotionally turn away money in a society that makes money its god."

At the end of the tour the West Indians, who drew the "Test" series 1-1 and lost 4-2 in the one-dayers, successfully negotiated a 15% bonus. Every game of the tour was a sell-out and South Africa also gained revenue through the sale of souvenirs and tokens. Gilkes delivered his verdict in the Sunday Sun: "Rowe and his rebel team had become not the mercenaries they were being labeled outside South Africa but 18 black missionaries converting and baptising thousands and thousands of whites into a religion of black acceptance and respect from Cape Town to Johannesburg, to Durban and right into the throne room of Afrikanerdom itself, Pretoria."

The tour squad Allsport
Heroes in one part of the world, they were outcasts in another. Unlike their English counterparts, who were banned for three years, the West Indians received life bans in all forms of the game. It was only in 1989 that the Commonwealth heads decided to wipe out the past and the bans were revoked. The only one of the rebels who got a chance to play for West Indies was Moseley, who was well past his prime when he made his international debut at the age of 32.

Nine members of the side of 1983 currently reside outside their home countries. Rowe remains a legend but will be forever remembered with, in Manley's words, "a flaw at the centre of his character". Everton Mattis, Rowe's stylish Jamaican team-mate who, according to observers, came extremely close to national selection, and Ray Wynter, the promising Jamaican fast bowler, also shifted base to the United States.

Kallicharran and King settled in England, where they continue to play league cricket. Croft, one of the most destructive bowlers to have come out of the Caribbean, moved out of Guyana and settled in Trinidad. Julien, an integral member of the World Cup-winning side in 1975, had to endure the humiliation of being treated as an outcast in his native Trinidad and struggled to find a job. It was only much later that he found acceptance.

Greenidge, Moseley and Stephenson decided to stay on in Barbados and currently coach youngsters. Stephenson was ignored by the West Indies selectors even after the ban was lifted, though he turned in some fine performances in the County Championship. The high point of his career came in 1991 when he chose to play for Orange Free State in the heart of the Boer country, a one-time Afrikaner bastion; he went on to inspire them to seven title triumphs. Murray and the two Jamaicans who stayed back, Chang and Austin, were reduced to wrecks. Clarke, whose international career was limited to 11 Tests, spent nine productive seasons at Surrey and was as clinically fearsome as any of his West Indian colleagues of the time. At the end of his professional career he came home to Barbados, played some club cricket and took up carpentry again. He collapsed and died at his home in 1999.

Twenty four years ago 18 men left their country as villains and became heroes in another. With hindsight it can now be said they were neither.

This article was first published in the August 2006 issue of Cricinfo Magazine
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is assistant editor of Cricinfo


Offline trinindian

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Tragedy of the West Indian rebels
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 08:36:14 AM »
Tragedy of the West Indian rebels

It is almost 25 years since the most hated West Indian cricket side of all time was assembled. ROBERT CRADDOCK reports how the tour's bitter legacy taints careers and lives to this day.
NO matter what Brian Lara and his not-so-merry men cop for bowing out early from their own World Cup it would not be a tenth of the abuse and hardship that rained down on the 18 West Indians who, in January 1983, headed off to South Africa for a rebel tour.

It was seen here as the ultimate sell-out . . . black men agreeing to play in an apartheid regime in which blacks were second-class citizens though the players, many financially stricken, considered it a business decision.

Such was the abuse heaped on many of the men who took around $130,000 for two rebel tours that several have lost their minds.

Across the road from my hotel yesterday was former Test wicket-keeper David Murray, son of the great Sir Everton Weekes and whose life spiralled into a world of depression and drugs after the tour.

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He is 56 but looks older. These days he can be seen around Accra beach mixing with the men who sell drugs to tourists.

He makes no attempt to hide the trauma of his experience, saying it is hard to convey the distress you feel when you are walking down the road "and someone you don't even know turns in your direction and says 'you sold your soul, man.' "

Richard Austin, once considered a Woolworths Garry Sobers who could bat and bowl medium-pace and off-spin, begs in the streets on his home city of Kingston, Jamaica - a permanently distressed soul who also lives his life in a drug-fuelled haze.

Last year at a Test in his home town, police had to quieten him down as he bellowed hysterically from the grandstand, laughing one minute and crying the next.

"Richard has been in and out of therapy about five times . . . we don't hold much hope for him," said one local official.

The same official last week, driving down the streets of Jamaica when he took a wrong turn into a dark alley, saw to his surprise another rebel - batsman Herbert Chang - standing listlessly in the middle of the road.

He wound down his window and a clearly substance-affected Chang put his head into the car, moved to within a few centimetres of the official's face and said,"man, man, man, I just, I just wanna know which I end I bowl from tomorrow."

Nine members of the squad have sought refuge in other countries and some have fared much better as a consequence. Collis King has moved to England, Colin Croft to America, then Trinidad.

Another to move on was wonder batsman Lawrence Rowe, a man who so impressed Sir Vivian Richards that he spray-painted Rowe's name on his back fence as a child.

Once considered a national treasure of Jamaica, Rowe was reduced to sneaking into a private bar at the ground in Kingston to watch Sabina Park Tests and eventually fled to Miami, Florida, to start a small business.

The day after Bob Woolmer died he made a surprise appearance at Jamaica's Pegasus Hotel.

The rebel tourists were immediately banned for life and, though in 1989 Commonwealth heads decided to repeal the ban, their careers were all but gone.

Tales of their tour did not impress locals. Croft was kicked off a whites-only train in South Africa and organisers obtained the team access to all white areas only by giving them status as "honorary whites".

Michael Holding, a bitter opponent of the tour, said "I didn't like that at all because the assumption is it was a dishonor to be black."

The tours short-circuited some potentially outstanding careers.

Outstanding allrounder Franklyn Stephenson, so talented a sportsman that at age 48 he works as a golf professional and plays off scratch at one of Barbados' leading golf clubs, never played a Test match and spent the last 10 years waiting to be invited back into the local system until a change of heart in recent months.

Stephenson yesterday declared "I have no regrets".

"People were breaking into houses to steal tickets for our matches and I felt we started the change of thinking (in South Africa) that we (black sportsmen) were a lower form of animal," Stephenson said.

"I still feel officials should aplogise for banning us and I don't believe West Indies cricket has ever recovered from it. They have been crap ever since."

Every tour match was a sell-out and they played excellent cricket to draw the first Test series one-all though they lost the one-dayers 4-2 and won the second Test series 2-1 and the one-dayers 4-2.

Another wasted talent was Sylvester Clarke, whom Steve Waugh rated the fastest bowler he had faced and who once bowled to Waugh in county cricket without a man in front of square.

He played just 11 Tests and returned to work as a carpenter but collapsed and died at his home in 1999.

At least his suffering has ended. For several others it will continue until the day they join him.


Offline weary1969

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Re: Tragedy of the West Indian rebels
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 09:47:12 AM »
Nice read thxs 4 posting. Cyah believe d fella who say d demise of WI cricket is because of how they were treated. Like he on some drugs as well.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline Deeks

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Re: Tragedy of the West Indian rebels
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 03:46:11 PM »
That was sad. But them men have to realize what they were getting into. I was against the tour but understood that they wanted the money. Truly ambivalent. As to the part that WI cricket is suffering because of that, can be true. Our demise was caused by the English putting quotas on foreign players. The WICBC did not expect that this would affect our cricket. But it did. And we have not recovered.

Offline MEP

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Re: Tragedy of the West Indian rebels
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 09:52:55 AM »
That was sad. But them men have to realize what they were getting into. I was against the tour but understood that they wanted the money. Truly ambivalent. As to the part that WI cricket is suffering because of that, can be true. Our demise was caused by the English putting quotas on foreign players. The WICBC did not expect that this would affect our cricket. But it did. And we have not recovered.

That is what has affected institution built and created in colonial times and still functions with a colonial mentality.

Offline weary1969

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Re: Tragedy of the West Indian rebels
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 11:55:54 AM »
That was sad. But them men have to realize what they were getting into. I was against the tour but understood that they wanted the money. Truly ambivalent. As to the part that WI cricket is suffering because of that, can be true. Our demise was caused by the English putting quotas on foreign players. The WICBC did not expect that this would affect our cricket. But it did. And we have not recovered.

That is what has affected institution built and created in colonial times and still functions with a colonial mentality.

Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline Michael-j

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Cricket's forgotten men
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 01:06:07 PM »
Branded a rebel: Cricket's forgotten men
By Samantha Bresnahan, CNN
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1717 GMT (0117 HKT)

(CNN) -- It is a Sunday night in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Here on this Caribbean island, and on the others that make up what's known as the West Indies, life revolves around one thing -- cricket.

On this night, locals gather at historic Kensington Oval, which hosted the 2007 World Cup final. There are no national teams on display this time, but there is a local trophy up for grabs.

It's enough to draw a large crowd of boisterous fans. In the concourse, a familiar face makes his way through the crowd.He is Franklyn Stephenson, and he is the best to have never played for the West Indies, all because of one decision he and his teammates made 30 years ago.
It left each of them -- forever -- branded a rebel.

In 1983, the West Indies cricket team was on top of the world. Team captain Clive Lloyd, from Guyana, had led them to back-to-back World Cup victories in 1975 and '79.

Overflowing with talent, the islands of the West Indies could have fielded at least two teams of world-class players. But with all the hype and success, money did not follow. Playing international and club cricket was not enough to earn a living.

At the same time, a world away, South Africa was deep in the heart of apartheid. Its government's policies had split life into different classifications for whites and so-called non-whites.

Such oppression against the non-white population intensified into violence, landing young protesters like Nelson Mandela in jail. Thousands more were arrested or killed.
As the world tried to pressure South Africa's leadership, sanctions were applied, and sport was no exception.

In 1970, the International Cricket Council banned South Africa from international competition, leaving the country's cricket-mad fans deprived of the sport they loved, and their cricketers of the careers they dreamed of.

"You're always optimistic," said former South African cricketer Clive Rice. "The stupidity that existed would change and South Africa would change much quicker, and we'd be back playing international sport. But it hung on and hung on."

'Rebel tours'

To save cricket in South Africa, the sport's administrators knew something had to be done.
So, in secret, they began planning "rebel tours" -- inviting various teams from around the world.
It was a bold move to defy the ICC's ban by offering lucrative contracts. In March 1982, the first rebel team from England arrived in Johannesburg.

"From our point of view, we knew we had the best cricketers in the world," said former South African Cricket Union president Joe Pamensky, one of the rebel tour organizers. "We wanted to show them off to the world so they would see it the same as we saw it."

Later that year, a team from Sri Lanka followed.And it wasn't long before many began suspecting South Africa was also targeting a team from the West Indies, the dominant force in world cricket.

"You heard a lot of whispers around the place that perhaps these guys were going to South Africa," recalled broadcaster Tony Cozier.

"But at that time, we couldn't believe that they could assemble a team of West Indies players given the whole background to the anti-apartheid movement."

Many big-name West Indies stars were outspoken in their refusal to play in apartheid South Africa.

Captain Clive Lloyd said no amount of money could get him there. Future captain Viv Richards called it "blood money."

But other players were tempted.

The offers from South Africa were more than they would likely see in their lifetimes -- estimated to be between $100,000 and $150,000 per player.
It was enough to draw in names like batsmen Lawrence Rowe and Alvin Kallicharran, fast bowler Sylvester Clarke and wicketkeeper David Murray -- one of the best in the game.
Also agreeing to take part was Collis King, hero of the 1979 World Cup.

"I made the decision because I wasn't getting treated right as far as the West Indies (team) was concerned," said King. "And I said to myself, 'Well, cricket is my job. You're not picking me, I'll go play cricket someplace where people will see proper cricket.' And that's why I went."

More than just cricket

Rising star Stephenson was only 23 in 1983, with a promising career in front of him. He had repeatedly turned down offers to play in South Africa.

But the day the team left, Stephenson had a change of heart.

"I knew the tour was more important than being just cricket," Stephenson said. "I believe that cricket can make a difference, and I'm going to be a part of that team."

On the plane, Stephenson recalled, some of the players began having second thoughts. But it was too late -- they were on their way to South Africa, to face apartheid head on.

"When we got to South Africa, I realized that separation, and it wasn't only black and white," he said. "It's the language that you speak, the area that you live in, and it's what you're allowed to do, and where you can go. So the divisions were very real when we got there."

Unsure of how they'd be received by the country's mainly white fanbase, the West Indies rebels prepared for their first Test match.

But their worries soon proved unfounded -- in droves, crowds came out to see the famous cricketers.

"We packed them in," said Murray. "We turned out 20,000 in Pretoria, the heart of apartheid."

As the tour went on, the players began to believe something more important than just cricket was taking place.

Young kids -- white kids -- were begging them for autographs. It seemed South African fans couldn't get enough of the black cricketers from the West Indies.

"For the first time, they were seeing blacks beating whites," said newspaper writer Al Gilkes, the only journalist from the Caribbean to go to South Africa.

"Here was a country in which no black man had ever seen a black person in competition with a white person, and beating them. To me, that was where the real victory was."

'Destroyed as cricketers'

But critics of the tour disagree. They say the presence of a team of black men in South Africa did not help end apartheid, but instead strengthened and supported it.

Even within the country itself, non-whites protested the West Indies rebels.

Back home in the Caribbean, the reaction was worse. A deep sense of betrayal cut through the Caribbean. Cricketers who were once viewed as heroes were now seen as sellouts.

When the month-long tour was over, the rebel players knew they would have to face the repercussions of their decision back home.

"I felt sorry for them," said Gilkes, "because I knew that they would never outlive what they were returning to."

The fate of their cricketing careers rested with the West Indies Cricket Board of Control.

The players were aware they might face a ban -- after all, England's rebel team had been banned for three years; Sri Lanka's was banned for 25 years.

But they did not expect to be banned for life.

"Many of them were destroyed as cricketers," said University of West Indies Professor Hilary Beckles. "Their cricket careers came to an end."

Murray, once a star, is now drifting, unable to hold a job in Barbados. In the years after the tour, he eventually lost more than just his career.
His wife gave birth to their baby daughter in Australia, while Murray was playing in South Africa.
They faced being deported from Australia for his role in the rebel tours, and were unwelcome back in the Caribbean, too. They had a newborn, and nowhere to go.

"They didn't want me to return," Murray said. "Politics got into it."

When asked if his current situation resulted from his decision to go, Murray answered: "Most likely."


For Stephenson, the once-rising star, his cricketing past is behind him. He is now a golf instructor at a country club in Barbados.
But he still finds a way to connect to the sport he loved at the cricket and golf academy he started near his home.
There, a photo of his rebel team sits proudly on the shelf. It is not the memories of the tour he wants to forget, but what came after.

"Nobody looked out for us," Stephenson said.

For the players, their lives defined by this single moment in sport history, each day is a reminder of what they lost by going to South Africa.
But they gained something, too -- strong bonds forged on a tour condemned by the rest of their world, cherished by the participants.

And to this day, they hold strongly to the belief that being in South Africa in 1983 made a difference in disbanding apartheid, less than a decade after the West Indies players were there.

Gilkes wrote a seven-part series about the tour. In the last article, he stated the trip might have started with the players being viewed as mercenaries, but he saw them as missionaries "who converted white South Africans to accepting that blacks were their equals."

"I know I went there as a missionary," King said.

Murray agreed. "I don't see the mercenary part of it or whatever. We were just professional cricketers. You've got work to do."

"What do mercenaries do?" Stephenson asked. "They go and fight somebody else's cause.

"Well, yes I was a mercenary for black people's cause, because wherever I've been, I've been an ambassador for my country, my race and the game of cricket. So if that's being a mercenary, then yes I was."