William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award November 29, 2004

D'Oliveira book wins award

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Peter's Oborne's 'Basil D'Oliveira - Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story' is available to buy from Crichop © Getty Images
Peter's Oborne's 'Basil D'Oliveira - Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story' has won the 2004 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. It is the first cricket book to have won the prize, worth £15,000 to the author, since Derek Birley's 'A Social History of English Cricket' in 1999. The climax of Oborne's book is the so-called D'Oliveira Affair of 1968 when John Vorster, the South African Prime Minister, banned the touring MCC side because of the inclusion of a black man.

Oborne, the political editor of The Spectator magazine, beat off strong competition which included Matthew Pinsent's autobiography, 'A Lifetime in a Race,' and another cricket book - Ed's Smith's `On And Off The Field'. Oborne also collected a £1,500 free bet from William Hill as well as a specially commissioned, hand-bound copy of his own book.

The judging panel included Frances Edmonds, wife Phillipe Edmonds, and author of 'Another Bloody Tour,' her perspective of England 1985-86 tour of West Indies. The others on the panel were John Gaustad, founder of Sports Pages bookshop, John Inverdale, Danny Kelly, Paul Hayward and Hugh McIlvanney. Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill said: "Oborne's book is a timeless and timely tale of how racism blighted a sport."

Buy a copy of Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story from Cricshop