Monday, January 02, 2006
South Africa's Lost Generation
In 1982-83, I used to collect Thums-Up bottletops because they had pictures of world cricketers underneath them. When you collected a full team's worth of pictures, you'd get prizes like tiny Thums Up bottles, 'flicker' books and a signed miniature cricket bat. That was also when I heard of the South African cricket team for the first time. S. Africa were outcastes of cricket because of their government's apartheid policies between 1970-91.
I was told that S. Africa was the best cricket team out there - better than even W. Indies, the reigning champs of the day. Some of my older friends convinced me that each person on the S. Africa team was 7 ft or taller - bigger than even the 6 ft+ W. Indians like Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Clive Lloyd etc. were all big guys.
Turns out they indeed were the best team in cricket then, but not the biggest.