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As South Africa clinched the No.1 Test ranking on Monday, cricket's journey in the colourful history of South Africa was put into perspective by Paul Martin in the Independent.
Cricket – though now open to all races – was not being conducted on a level playing-field. Decades of segregation and economic inequality put non-white players at a severe disadvantage. Lack of experience of top-class conditions, of coaching, of nutrition, of self-confidence, all took their toll.
Now, though, South Africa are heroes again – including non-white players like this week's man-of-the-match Vernon Philander and man-of-the-series Hashim Amla. True, one is from the minority mixed-race community, the other from the minority Asian community.