South Africa Cricket Team

Ruling Body: Cricket South Africa
Captain: Faf du Plessis (Test & T20); AB de Villiers (ODI)
Coach: Russell Domingo
Granted Test status: 1889
Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings

 
Tests ODIs T20s
P 411, W 152, L 135, D 124, T 0 - P 577, W 357, L 198, T 6, NR 16 - P 95, W 56, L 38, T 0, NR 1
Recent highest test totals:
- 637/2d v England (2012)
- 627/7d v England (2016)
- 580/4d v Sri Lanka (2012)
Recent highest ODI totals:
- 439/2 v West Indies (2015)
- 438/4 v India (2015)
- 411/4 v Ireland (2015)
Recent highest T20 totals:
- 231/7 v West Indies (2015)
- 229/4 v England (2016)
- 219/4 v India (2012)
Capped players: 329 Capped players: 120 Capped players: 70
Highest individual score: 311* (HM Amla) Highest individual score: 188* (G Kirsten) Highest individual score: 119 (F du Plessis)
Most career runs: 13,206 (JH Kallis) Most career runs: 11,579 (JH Kallis) Most career runs: 1,683* (J-P Duminy)
Best bowling (innings): 9/113 (HJ Tayfield) Best bowling: 7/45 (Imran Tahir) Best bowling: 5/19 (R McLaren)
Best bowling (match): 13/132 (M Ntini)

Most career wickets:  421 (SM Pollock) Most career wickets: 393 (SM Pollock) Most career wickets: 58* (DW Steyn)
Highest team inns: 682/6 v England - 2003 Highest team inns: 439/2 v West Indies - 2015 Highest team inns: 241/6 v England - 2009
Highest run chase achieved:  414/4 v Australia - 2008 Highest run chase achieved:  438/9 v Australia - 2006 Highest run chase achieved:  208/2 v West Indies - 2007
Average RpO: 2.86 Average RpO: 5.09 Average RpO: 8.05

Top run-scorers
13206 - JH Kallis
9252 - GC Smith
8074 - AB de Villiers
7952 - HM Amla
7289 - G Kirsten
11549 - JH Kallis
9149 - AB de Villiers
8094 - HH Gibbs
7032 - HM Amla
6989 - GC Smith
1683 - J-P Duminy
1457 - AB de Villiers
1129 - F du Plessis
1070 - HM Amla
982 - GC Smith

Top wicket-takers
421 - SM Pollock
417 - DW Steyn
390 - M Ntini
330 - AA Donald
291 - JH Kallis
387 - SM Pollock
272 - AA Donald
269 - JH Kallis
265 - M Ntini
192 - L Klusener
58 - DW Steyn
54 - Imran Tahir
45 - M Morkel
41 - WD Parnell
37 - J Botha

Partnership Records
1st - 415 - ND McKenzie/GC Smith
2nd - 315* - HH Gibbs/JH Kallis
3rd - 429* - JA Rudolph/HH Dippenaar
4th - 308 - HM Amla/AB de Villiers
5th - 338 - GC Smith/AB de Villiers
6th - 271 - AG Prince/MV Boucher
7th - 246 - DJ McGlew/ARA Murray
8th - 150 - ND McKenzie/SM Pollock
                   G Kirsten/M Zondeki
9th - 195 - MV Boucher/PL Symcox
10th - 107* - AB de Villiers/M Morkel
1st - 247 - HM Amla/RR Rossouw
2nd - 247 - HM Amla/F du Plessis
3rd - 247 - HM Amla/RR Rossouw
4th - 232 - DJ Cullinan/JN Rhodes
5th - 256* - DA Miller/JP Suminy
6th - 137 - WJ Cronje/SM Pollock
7th - 114 - MV Boucher/L Klusener
8th - 138* - JM Kemp/AJ Hall
9th - 95 - DA Miller/RK Kleinveldt
10th - 67* - JA Morkel/M Ntini
1st - 170 - GC Smith/LE Bosman
2nd - 129 - Q de Kock/RR Rossouw
3rd - 133* - RE Levi/AB de Villiers
4th - 105* - JP Duminy/F Behardien
5th - 66 - F du Plessis/F Behardien
6th - 69 - MV Boucher/JA Morkel
7th - 57* - SM Pollock/JA Morkel
8th - 64* - WD Parnell/J Theron
9th - 21* - J Botha/DW Steyn
10th - 10* - Imran Tahir/LL Tsotsobe

As at May 30, 2017

1888/89-1914
1919-1944/45
1945/46-1969/70
1971-1981
1982-1990 (Rebel tours)
1991 to present

South Africa's first Tests 1888/9
A not particularly strong English touring team, consisting of 7 county-standard players and 6 of good clubs standard, and that Altham compared to a weak English county, played an extremely weak nascent South African team. These games were not recognised as Tests by England at the time. Wisden's Cricketers Almanack noted that "it was never intended, or considered necessary, to take out a representative English team for a first trip to the Cape". The England team did, however, include some stars such as Briggs and Abel, and George Ulyett, who replaced a player who had to return from South Africa due to a family bereavement.

Although the English team is said not to have paid its expenses, it was otherwise financially successful. The cricketers were warmly welcomed. England were led by Aubrey Smith, who became the most widely known of England's cricket captains as a result of becoming a "B" list Hollywood star. They played all their matches, except the two that later came to be regarded as Test matches, against odds, and lost some of them too! Of the 19 games they played, they won 13, including the 2 that later became recognised as Test matches, losing 4 and abandoning 2.

In the first Test, which was played on a green matting wicket, England beat South Africa on matting by 8 wickets by 3.30 p.m. on the second day. Around 3,000 spectators attended the first day.

Monty Bowden became England's youngest ever Test captain aged 23 in the Second Test, replacing an injured Smith. England scored 292 and then dismissed South Africa for 47 and 43 to record a comprehensive victory. Bowden died 3 years later after being trampled by his own oxen after falling from his cart. He had stayed in South Africa. His death was possibly the result of an epileptic fit. He may not have known he had ever played Test cricket. It is said that his body, which was taken to Umtali hospital, had to be protected from marauding lions before being interred in a coffin made from old whiskey cases.

England in South Africa 1888/9. Match length: 3 days. Balls per over: 4. Series result: England win 2-0.

Second England tour to South Africa 1891-92
This match was not considered by anyone at the time to be a Test, but was subsequently elevated to Test match status. The main England winter tour was still ongoing in Australia. As a result, Walter Read's two Test match victories as captain leave him as one of the two with a 100% record while captaining England in more than one Test. The main points of note are that this game Billy Murdoch and JJ Ferris, both of whom had previously played for Australia and had now settled in England, played for the English tourists. Similarly, Frank Hearne, who had previously played Test cricket for England against South Africa before settling in South Africa, played for South Africa, while his two brothers, Alec Hearne and George Gibbons Hearne, and their cousin, John Thomas Hearne, all played for England.

England in South Africa 1891-92. Match length: 3 days. Balls per over: 5. One-off Test. Result: England won

England's third tour of South Africa 1895-96
Lord HawkeEngland's third tour of South Africa was a very one-sided series that was not elevated to Test status till later. England fielded 10 new caps throughout the series (8 in the first Test). The captains, a baronet and a lord, were chosen for their roles more because of their status than their cricketing ability.

The highlight of the first Test was South Africa's dismissal for a record low of 30 in their second innings, with George Lohmann taking 8 wickets for 7 runs, including a hat-trick. He had match figures of 15 for 45.

Lohmann followed this with 9 wickets for 28 runs in the first innings of the second Test, the first time a bowler had taken 9 wickets in a single Test innings. In the third Test, Lohmann took his haul of wickets to 35 at an average of 5.8.

England in South Africa 1895-96. Match length: 3 days. Balls per over: 5. Series result: England won 3-0.

Hawke in South Africa 1898-99
Lord Hawke led a second tour to South Africa. Again, the England side was at far from full strength, with 9 Test match debuts for England in the series, most notably that of future English cricket captain Plum Warner, who carried his bat through England's second innings in the first Test for 132. The first Test was South Africa's best to date, and they were set 132 to win. But Albert Trott, who also played three Tests for Australia, took 5 for 49 to dismiss them for 99.

South Africa had a chance to record their first Test victory in the second Test, after dismissing England for 99, then scoring 177 themselves. 330 from England set them a challenging 246. But the South Africans collapsed again and were bowled out by Schofield Haigh (6 for 11) and Trott (4 for 19) for a feeble 35 off only 114 balls.

Murray Bisset, who was a little under 23 years old, was the youngest Test captain at time and remained so for more than 50 years. He later became the chief justice of Rhodesia and earned a knighthood.

England in South Africa 1898-99. Match length: 3 days. Balls per over: 5. Series result: England won 2-0.

International tours of South Africa to 1914
England 1888-89
1st Test at St George’s Park Cricket Ground, Port Elizabeth – England won by 8 wickets
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by an innings and 202 runs
England 1891-92
1st Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by an innings and 189 runs
South Africa won the toss and batted first. They were soon all out for 97, with John Ferris taking 6 for 54. In reply 134 from Henry Wood saw Walter Read's side total 369, a lead of 272 that South Africa were never likely to catch. Ferris's 7 for 37 helped dismiss the South Africans for 83 in their second innings.

The game is more interesting for some historical oddities. Billy Murdoch and Ferris, who had both previously played for Australia, played for England due to residence. Frank Hearne, who played for South Africa in this game, had previously played for England. Finally, the game gives the second instance of three brothers playing in the same Test match, as Frank Hearne's brothers, Alec Hearne and George Hearne played from England. A cousin, John Thomas Hearne also played for the tourists.

England 1895-96
1st Test at St George’s Park Cricket Ground, Port Elizabeth – England won by 288 runs
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by an innings and 197 runs
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by an innings and 32 runs
England 1898-99
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by 32 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 210 runs
Australia 1902-03
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – Australia won by 159 runs
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by 10 wickets
England 1905-06
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 1 wicket
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 9 wickets
3rd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 243 runs
4th Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 4 wickets
5th Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – South Africa won by an innings and 16 runs
England 1909-10
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 19 runs
2nd Test at Lord's, Durban – South Africa won by 95 runs
3rd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by 3 wickets
4th Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – South Africa won by 4 wickets
5th Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 9 wickets
This tour included The Reef v MCC at Boksburg. It was scheduled as a four-day match but play only took place on two because of bad weather. Although the two teams consisted of recognised players, the South African Board of Control decided as late as 1930 that it had not been a first-class match. Wisden 1931 reproduced a letter from the SABC which outlined its case. Wisden has ignored the ruling and includes the match in the career figures of all the players who took part, including record-breaking players such as Wilfred Rhodes, Jack Hobbs and Frank Woolley.

It is possible that the SABC thought it was a 2 day match, but Wisden 1911 clearly states that "not a ball could be bowled on the first and fourth days" so it was actually planned as a 4 day match.

England 1913-14
1st Test at Lord's, Durban – England won by an innings and 157 runs
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by aninnings and 12 runs
3rd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by 91 runs
4th Test at Lord's, Durban – match drawn
5th Test at St George’s Park Cricket Ground, Port Elizabeth – England won by 10 wickets

International tours of South Africa from 1919-20 to 1944-45
Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) 1919-20
Western Province v AIF – AIF won by 2 wickets
Transvaal v AIF – match drawn
Natal v AIF – AIF won by 310 runs
Natal v AIF – AIF won by an innings and 42 runs
Transvaal v AIF – AIF won by an innings and 14 runs
South Africa v AIF – AIF won by 8 wickets
South Africa v AIF – AIF won by an innings and 129 runs
Western Province v AIF – match drawn
The AIF team had players of the calibre of Jack Gregory, Herbie Collins, Bert Oldfield and Nip Pellew.

Australia 1921-22
1st Test at Lord's, Durban – match drawn
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by 10 wickets
England 1922-23
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 168 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 1 wicket
3rd Test at Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
4th Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Kingsmead, Durban – England won by 109 runs
England 1927-28
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – England won by 10 wickets
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 87 runs
3rd Test at Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
4th Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 4 wickets
5th Test at Kingsmead, Durban – South Africa won by 8 wickets
England 1930-31
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 28 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – match drawn
3rd Test at Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
4th Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
Australia 1935-36
1st Test at Kingsmead, Durban – Australia won by 9 wickets
2nd Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by an innings and 78 runs
4th Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – Australia won by an innings and 184 runs
5th Test at Kingsmead, Durban – Australia won by an innings and 6 runs
England 1938-39
1st Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – match drawn
3rd Test at Kingsmead, Durban – England won by an innings and 13 runs
4th Test at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn

History of cricket in South Africa from 1945–46 to 1970
International feeling against South Africa's apartheid policy became stronger and more vociferous as the post-war era developed. Until the mid-1960s, however, the South Africa national cricket team continued to play regularly and without undue difficulty against Australia, England and New Zealand.

But matters came to a head in 1968 when the South African government refused to allow a tour by England whose team included Basil D'Oliveira. Although the Australians visited South Africa in 1969-70, the end was nigh for apartheid in sport and South Africa was banned from Test cricket for 22 years. This happened just at a time when the South African team was arguably the strongest in world cricket.

In 1970, after South Africa's tour of England was cancelled, a Rest of the World team toured instead. It was captained by Gary Sobers and included other non-white players from the West Indies, India and Pakistan. It also included four of the greatest South African players (Eddie Barlow, Graeme Pollock, Mike Procter and Barry Richards) who clearly had no problems about sharing a dressing room with other cricketers whose skin was a different colour to their own.

International tours of South Africa from 1945-46 to 1969-70
England 1948-49
1st Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – England won by 2 wickets
2nd Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – match drawn
4th Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – England won by 3 wickets
Australia 1949-50
1st Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – Australia won by an innings and 85 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by 8 wickets
3rd Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – Australia won by 5 wickets
4th Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – Australia won by an innings and 259 runs
New Zealand 1953-54
1st Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – South Africa won by an innings and 58 runs
2nd Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 132 runs
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – match drawn
4th Test at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 9 wickets
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – South Africa won by 5 wickets
England 1956-57
1st Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – England won by 131 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – England won by 312 runs
3rd Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
4th Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 17 runs
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – South Africa won by 58 runs
Australia 1957-58
1st Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by an innings and 141 runs
3rd Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – match drawn
4th Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – Australia won by 10 wickets
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – Australia won by 8 wickets
Commonwealth XI 1959-60
A Commonwealth XI cricket team toured South Africa in October 1959, playing three first-class matches. Captained by Denis Compton, the Commonwealth XI included several famous or well-known players such as Tom Graveney, Brian Close, Bert Sutcliffe, Frank Tyson, Godfrey Evans, Roy Marshall, Bob Simpson and Ian Craig

New Zealand 1961-62
1st Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – South Africa won by 30 runs
2nd Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – New Zealand won by 72 runs
4th Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by an innings and 51 runs
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – New Zealand won by 40 runs
England 1964-65
1st Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – England won by an innings and 104 runs
2nd Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
3rd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – match drawn
4th Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – match drawn
Australia 1966-67
1st Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 233 runs
2nd Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – Australia won by 6 wickets
3rd Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – South Africa won by 8 wickets
4th Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – match drawn
5th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – South Africa won by 7 wickets
Australia 1969-70
1st Test at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town – South Africa won by 170 runs
2nd Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban – South Africa won by an innings and 129 runs
3rd Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – South Africa won by 307 runs
4th Test at Sahara Oval St George's, Port Elizabeth – South Africa won by 323 runs

International cricket in South Africa from 1971 to 1981
In 1970, the ICC voted to suspend South Africa from international cricket indefinitely because of its government's policy of apartheid, an overtly racist policy, which led them to play only against the white nations (England, Australia, New Zealand), and field only white players. This decision excluded players such as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter from partaking in international Test Cricket. It would also cause the emigration of future stars like Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who both played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia, before returning to South Africa.

International cricket in South Africa between 1971 and 1981 consisted of 4 private tours arranged by English sports promoter Derrick Robins, 2 tours by a private team called the "International Wanderers", and one women's Test match. The apartheid policy followed by the South African Governments of the day meant that no Test match playing nation was willing to tour, thereby depriving world cricket of leading stars such as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Clive Rice and Eddie Barlow.

The road to isolation
Sport in South Africa had been divided on racial lines since the early white settlers. Cricket was no different. In 1891/2 Walter Read's Englishmen first played against a non-white team, the Malays. No non-white South Africans played any other international cricket until 1956, when a team of Kenyan Asians toured against South African non-whites. However, with apartheid laws becoming ever stricter, no non-white was selected for the national Test team. This did not, however, stop white-majority Commonwealth from playing white South Africa at cricket. In the 1970s and 1980s, the South African Cricket Board ran a competition called the Howa Bowl, which was contested between non-whites.

The Basil D'Oliveira affair changed all that. D'Oliveira was a mixed-race South African (partly black - "coloured" under the Apartheid classification). Unable to play for his national side, he came to England and played for them instead, going on tour to the West Indies in 1967. His performance on that tour was not impressive, and he was omitted from the Ashes Test squads in the following summer until the fifth and final Test at the Oval. He scored 158, and was expected to make it to the team to tour South Africa in winter. When initially he wasn't selected, there was great controversy in England, with the English Test selectors being accused of pandering to the racist regime in South Africa. Then, when a vacancy became available through another player dropping out, D'Oliveira was selected in his place. But South African Prime Minister John Vorster opposed his selection, saying that it was not a team of the Marylebone Cricket Club, but of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. England did not tour.

However, Australia did tour in 1969/70, with the Springboks whitewashing them 4-0, making them unofficial world champions of the sport. They did not play another official Test match for 22 years. Their tour to England was called off in 1970, with England hastily arranging a tour by a Rest of the World team, which itself included some South Africans.

Garry Sobers, the West Indies' captain and their best cricketer, caused controversy by coaching and playing in Rhodesia in 1969. In September 1970 he caused even greater controversy by playing in a double-wicket competition that heralded the start of the cricket season there [1]. Although Sobers spent only 48 hours in Salisbury, he had time for lunch with the prime minister, Ian Smith, and described him as a great man to talk to. Sobers' statement and his participation in the tournament gave Caribbean politicians an opportunity to make clear their hatred of apartheid and racism. The Guyanese prime minister, Forbes Burnham, said Sobers was not welcome in his country until there was an apology. The Jamaican government called for his resignation as captain. The Indian prime minister, Indira Gandhi, forbade the Indian cricket team to tour the West Indies until the matter was sorted out.

1971
South Africa tried to tour Australia in 1971, even going as far as suggesting that two black players, Dik Abed and Owen Williams were part of the team. Abed and Williams rejected the proposal. Also in 1971 Englishman Colin Cowdrey wanted to take a racially-mixed team to South Africa and play separate black and white national teams. But the coloured Board rejected the idea and persuaded Basil D'Oliveira to distance himself from it. Frank Waring, the Minister of Sport, declared that if cricketers from club level upwards declared that they were in favour of racially integrated cricket and their authorities, "Came to me and stated that this was the position, then I am fully prepared to take this matter to Cabinet."

In another attempt to get a touring international side to visit, the South African Board of Control invited New Zealand to play three matches against multiracial sides when they were en route to England. However, New Zealand declined the offer.

DH Robins' XI January-February 1973
A women's Test team from New Zealand did visit South Africa at the start of 1972. Also Rhodesia, a country neighbouring South Africa that was also under white minority rule, attracted an International Wanderers side captained by England star Brian Close and that included nine Test players, one of whom was Basil D'Oliveira. They played just two games: a drawn game on 23-25 September 1972 and a 4-day match on 29 September-2 October 1972, which Rhodesia won easily by 411 runs, and did not tour South Africa. South African, Mike Procter, played for Rhodesia.

However the first "international" games played by South Africa post-isolation occurred after this. Derrick Robins, a millionaire businessman and chairman of Coventry City Football Club, had organised a number of private cricket tours in the past, arranged a tour to South Africa thabrt took place between 1 January 1973 and 6 February 1973. His XI included many England Test players, who did not have to suffer bans as a result of it. Robins' aim was for his XI "to do so well that you will invite us back again". His players were also aware that England's Test selectors would notice how they performed.

There was some criticism of his decision to come to apartheid South Africa, which Robins dismissed by saying, "I do not want to answer political questions, but I'll say this: we are a team of English cricketers on a private tour, here to play anyone our hosts want us to play against." However, an attempt to mobilise opposition in England soon fizzled out.

The highlight of the tour was a 4-day game against a representative South African XI, the closest South Africa had come to choosing a Test squad since 1970. This game was changed to be the last one - highlighting that the tourists were treating their games seriously, rather than as a cricketing holiday. All the leading South African cricketers played, including many who had played Test matches before South Africa's expulsion from the world cricket community.

In this game DH Robins' XI won the toss and chose to field: that was a mistake as, courtesy of 100 runs from Barry Richards and 97 for Andre Bruyns, they piled on 387 runs. A strong all-round bowling performance saw DH Robins' XI get dismissed twice for under 160, with no player scoring more than 32, and the match end within 3 days. A 50 overs a side game was played on what would have been the fourth day. A tight match saw the South Africans edge home by 1 wicket.

DH Robins' XI team squad comprised: Anthony Brown; David Brown; Frank Hayes; Jackie Hampshire; Robin Hobbs; David Hughes; Robin Jackman; Roger Knight; John Lever; Peter Lewington; Arnold Long; John Murray; Clive Radley; Mike Smith; David Turner; Peter Willey; Bob Willis;

South African International XI (effectively a South African representative team) comprised: Ali Bacher (captain); Eddie Barlow; Andre Bruyns; Jackie du Preez; Lee Irvine; Donald Mackay-Coghill; Ken McEwen; Mike Procter; Barry Richards; Peter Swart. Additionally, Vintcent van der Bijl played in the one-day match, but not the 4-day match; Rupert Hanley played in the 4-day match, not the one-day match.

DH Robins' XI October-December 1973
At the start of the next South African season, Derrick Robins took another group of tourists to South Africa. Only Mike Smith and John Lever of those who toured earlier in 1973 went on this tour. Whilst the other players on the team were mostly English, there were also a number of players from other countries. Most notably the tour included Pakistani Younis Ahmed and West Indian John Shepherd. The other players in the touring squad were (English unless stated otherwise):

Brian Close (captain); Ray East; John Edrich; Bruce Francis (Australian); John Gleeson (Australian); Graham Johnson; Peter Lee; Graham Roope; John Snow; Roger Tolchard; Bob Woolmer (a South African, who was born in India and played for England)
After four warm-up games against the provinces, the tour included five games against fully representative South African sides, four of which were over 4 days, the other a one-day match over 50 overs.

The South Africans who played in each of these representative squads were: Hylton Ackerman; Eddie Barlow (captain); Anthony Biggs; Lee Irvine; Graeme Pollock; Mike Procter; Barry Richards; Vintcent van der Bijl. Additionally, Peter Swart played in the 4-day games, but not the one-day game; Jackie du Preez and Anthony Smith just played in the first two 4-day games; Pelham Henwood and Rupert Hanley played in the third 4-day game and the one-day game; and Kevin Verdoorn only played in the one-day game.

The first of the representative games contained little of note, with slow scoring (South Africa's second innings of 287 took 112 overs) meant that it ended in a draw. The second game was dominated by two huge scores. John Edrich made 170 for DH Robins' XI, then Barry Richards made 180 for South Africa to ensure a second draw. The third and final first-class representative game started with South Africa winning the toss and putting DH Robins' XI into bat. DH Robins' XI only made 227 for 9 declared. The South African innings was dominated by 211 from Eddie Barlow and 125 from Lee Irvine as they piled on 528, with John Lever taking 6 for 117. A strong performance of 4 for 66 from Vintcent van der Bijl then helped South Africa dismiss DH Robins' XI for 218 to record a strong win in the match, and to take the three-match series 1-0.

The very next day DH Robins' XI got some revenge in the only one-day game of the tour in a low scoring, but tight match.

DH Robins XI March-April 1975
Brian Close led a strong international team known as the "International Wanderers" to Rhodesia in September 1974. They played one game against Transvaal, but nothing else in South Africa. The Rhodesian team notably included South African-born Mike Procter, whilst the International Wanderers counted South African Eddie Barlow amongst their numbers.

The next games for a representative South African side therefore took place on Derrick Robins third tour to South Africa in March and April 1975. This DH Robins' XI was again an international side. Captained once again by Brian Close, it included the following players from Robins' preceding tour: Bruce Francis (Australian), John Sheppard (West Indian), Roger Tolchard, Younis Ahmed (Pakistani). In addition, the following also toured: Malcolm Francke (Sri Lanka/Australia), Geoff Greenidge (West Indies), Tony Greig (South African-born England player, Jackie Hampshire, Frank Hayes, Eddie Hemmings, Terry Jenner (Australia), John Lyon, Clive Radley, Stephen Rouse, John Steele, Stuart Turner, Max Walker (Australia).

The South African Board President's XI was again captained by Eddie Barlow. It also, for the very first time in a South African representative match, included two black players. Edward Habane played in both the first-class match (the only one he ever played) and the one-dayer. Sedick Conrad played only in the first-class match. The other players were: Darryl Bestall, Simon Bezuidenhout, Rupert Hanley, Pelham Henwood, Lee Irvine, Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Vintcent van der Bijl. Also Peter Swart played in the one-day match, but not the first-class match.

The first-class match featuring the South African Board President's XI was dominated by an innings of 155 by South African legend, Eddie Barlow. DH Robins' XI was skittled out thanks to hauls of 5 for 41 from Pelham Henwood in the first innings, and 5 for 44 from Vintcent van der Bijl to leave the South Africans winners by 260 runs. More remarkable than the scores, however, was the inclusion of Edward Habane and Sedick Conrad, both black, in the South African squad. This was the first time coloured South Africans had played first-class cricket against a touring side since a South African Malays team played an English touring side in the 1890s.

The 40 over representative match was a low-scoring affair, with Barry Richards' 68 helping South Africa to a 5 wicket win with 6 balls to spare.

DH Robins' XI January-February 1976
The International Wanderers made a short 3 game tour to Rhodesia in September and October 1975, but other than that there was no international cricket in Southern Africa until a tour by another DH Robins' XI in January and February 1976. However, only one game of this tour, a 60 over affair, was played against a representative South African XI as the main games for South Africa would come slightly later in the season against another International Wanderers team.

The members of touring party were (England unless stated): Phil Carrick, Trevor Chappell (Australia), Geoff Cope, John Douglas (Australia), Frank Hayes, Mike Hendrick, Geoff Howarth (New Zealand), Andrew Kennedy, Peter Lee, David Lloyd (captain), Derek Randall, Phil Slocombe, David Steele, Fred Titmus, Roger Tolchard, Gary Troup (New Zealand), Dav Whatmore (Sri Lanka).

The South African Invitation XI was again captained by Eddie Barlow. It also included one black cricketer, S Sonwabe. The other players were David Dyer, Rupert Hanley, Denys Hobson, Lee Irvine, Graeme Pollock, Clive Rice, Barry Richards, Anthony Smith and Vintcent van der Bijl.

The representative match was low and slow scoring, with South Africa making 219-7 in their 60 overs. The highlights were half centuries from David Dyer, Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards and 4 for 28 from Gary Troup. DH Robins' XI struggled in reply, collapsing from 125-3 to 164 all out with no player reaching his half century.

International Wanderers March-April 1976
The highlight of the South African 1975/6 season was a tour by the International Wanderers. They played 3 first-class games and 1 one-day game against a South African Invitation XI. They also played a first-class game against a weaker South African Board President's XI. This was the strongest team to tour South Africa since isolation, and comprised players from 4 countries. The tourists were managed by Richie Benaud and captained by Australian Greg Chappell in all four main representative games. Englishmen Mike Denness and Bob Taylor, and West Indian John Shepherd also played in all four games. The other players, their nationalities and the games they played in are as follows (numbers relate to the first-class games, OD relates to the one-day game): Ian Chappell (Australia) 1, OD; Phil Edmonds (Zambian-born Englishman) OD, 3; Gary Gilmour (Australia) 1, 2, 3; Alan Hurst (Australia) 1, 3; Martin Kent (Australia) 1, 2, 3; Dennis Lillee (Australia) 2, 3; Ashley Mallett (Australia) 1, OD, 2; John Morrison (New Zealand) 1, OD, 2; Glenn Turner (New Zealand) OD, 2, 3; Derek Underwood (England) 1, OD, 3; Max Walker (Australia) OD, 2.

The South African Invitation XI was again captained by Eddie Barlow, who played in all four representative games, as did Clive Rice and Vintcent van der Bijl. A number of coloured players were selected for the Invitation XI. These, and the games they played in, were Abdullatief Barnes 1, 2; Winston Carelse 1, 2; Ismail Ebrahim 3; Devdas Govindjee OD; D Jacobs OD; Farouk Timol 3.

The other players selected for South Africa were Hylton Ackerman OD; Howard Bergins 1, 2, 3; Henry Fotheringham 1; Jack Heron 1; Denys Hobson 1; Lee Irvine OD, 2, 3; Peter Kirsten 1; Douglas Neilson OD; Gavin Pfuhl 1; Graeme Pollock OD, 2, 3; Anthony Smith OD, 2, 3; Barry Richards OD, 2, 3; Lorrie Wilmot 2, 3.

The end of international tours
During the early to mid 1970s there had been various attempts by the different South African cricket bodies representing the whites, coloureds and black to play multiracial cricket despite Government opposition. In June 1976, however, there were major political uprisings in South Africa. The main outbreak of civil strife was the Soweto Uprising, centred on Soweto, the black township attached to Johannesburg. On 16 June, thousands of schoolchildren rebelled against the education policy of the white minority government. Hundreds were killed; US newspaper Newsday estimated 332 had died in Soweto and 435 nationally. Many others went into exile.

On 17 July 1976 the Montréal Olympics opened without 25 African countries (later joined by 4 others) who were boycotting the games as a result of New Zealand retaining sporting ties with South Africa - the New Zealand rugby union football team were touring South Africa at the time.

In the light of this political strife, new changes were proposed, which included the placing of a moratorium on tours to and from South Africa. And in practice no international tour happened until the first of the South African rebel tours in 1982.

The Rebel Tours

The South African rebel tours were a series of seven cricket tours staged between 1982 and 1990. They were known as the rebel tours because South Africa was throughout this period banned from international cricket due to the apartheid regime. As such the tours were organised and conducted despite the express disapproval of national cricket boards and governments, and the International Cricket Conference and international organisations including the United Nations. The tours were the subject of enormous contemporaneous controversy and remain a sensitive topic throughout the cricket-playing world.

Origins
Until the D’Oliveira affair and Olympic exclusion in 1968, only white athletes had been allowed to represent South Africa in international sport. This position reflected their apartheid society (1948 onwards) and racist social conventions pre-dating apartheid. In 1971 an international sports boycott was instituted against South Africa to voice global disapproval of their racist selection policies and apartheid in general. South Africa became world sport’s pariah, excluded from the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, Test cricket and a host of minority sports.

The boycott effected measurable change on policy and opinion in sports selection – and cricket in particular. In 1976 the South African Cricket Union (SACU) was created to administer the game in the republic on a multi-racial, meritocratic basis: so-called ‘normal’ cricket. However this was insufficient to ensure South Africa’s re-admission to international cricket. Inside the republic, many non-whites resented ‘normal’ cricket, which was a feeble concession in the wider context of life under apartheid, and declined to take part.[6] Outside the republic, the ICC bloc of India, Pakistan and the West Indies refused to countenance re-admission until apartheid itself was dismantled.

After a decade’s isolation cricket in the republic was weak. Standards, attendances and child participation were all falling. Overseas the game had been revolutionised by the World Cup and World Series Cricket but isolation had deprived South Africa of these commercial and competitive engines. Then in 1979 Doug Insole, an English representative on the ICC, told SACU’s Dr Ali Bacher: "Until apartheid goes, you can forget about getting back into world cricket."

Bacher and SACU felt obliged to act to "keep the game alive in South Africa". Since players were endangering their careers by breaking the boycott, SACU had to offer substantial sums to entice their targets. These rebels would play ‘unofficial’ internationals against a Springbok team who considered themselves as strong as any team in world cricket except the West Indies. In the earliest rebel tours Mike Procter and Peter Kirsten captained home teams featuring Barry Richards, Graeme Pollock, Clive Rice and Garth Le Roux. By their conclusion in 1990 these men had retired and were replaced by the likes of Hansie Cronje and Allan Donald.

The boycott movement opposed any such tours. They felt that engagement lent credibility and a propaganda coup to the National Party. But SACU insisted that all funding came directly from commercial sponsorship and that the tours would be conducted independently of government. Initially at least overseas opponents could not prove otherwise while inside South Africa non-white opposition, as under apartheid more generally, was barely heard due to restrictions on freedoms of press, speech and assembly.

English XI, 1982
The first major tour was by an English team led by Graham Gooch in March 1982. Twelve cricketers, 11 of them with Test caps, had agreed in secret to make a one-month tour of the republic. The news only broke when they arrived in Johannesburg. The players expected a brief public outcry and ICC slap on the wrist. Instead they were the subject of global outrage among press and politicians, and labelled ‘the Dirty Dozen’ in the Houses of Parliament.

The reaction in South Africa could not have been more different. The government and white newspapers hailed the return of official international cricket. Apart from Ian Botham, it was said, this was the full-strength England team. Springbok colours were awarded to the home side in a series of three ‘Tests’. There were also three ‘one-day internationals’.

The on-field action “made a mockery of the immense off-field publicity”. The so-called South African Breweries XI were under-prepared and, with the exception of Gooch, past their best. They were beaten emphatically by a South Africa team for whom the uncapped Jimmy Cook and Vintcent van der Bijl starred. The Springboks, captained by Mike Procter, won the ‘Test’ series 1-0 and ‘ODI’ series 3-0.

The rebels, who numbered 15 after hiring three further players to cover injuries, all received three-year bans from international cricket. These suspensions ended the careers of more than half the squad including Geoffrey Boycott, the world’s leading Test run-scorer.

Squad: Graham Gooch (captain), Dennis Amiss, Geoffrey Boycott, John Emburey, Mike Hendrick, Geoff Humpage, Alan Knott, Wayne Larkins, John Lever, Chris Old, Arnold Sidebottom, Les Taylor, Derek Underwood, Peter Willey, Bob Woolmer.

Arosa Sri Lanka, 1982/3
Sri Lanka was a fledgling Test nation in 1982, playing their inaugural match against England at Colombo in February of that year. Bandula Warnapura’s side were beaten by seven wickets against an experienced visiting team and would fail to win four further Tests as the year progressed.

Then in October it was announced that Warnapura was leading a 14-man rebel squad to South Africa. The team would be called Arosa Sri Lanka after the initials of their player manager Anthony Ralph Opatha and the host nation. The players were vehemently denounced across India, Pakistan and the Caribbean as well as in their homeland.

For the second successive tour, white South Africa was forced to put on a brave front in acclaiming sporting triumph where there was none. A full-strength Sri Lankan team was some way off international competitiveness so it was little surprise that a makeshift rebel outfit was utterly humiliated, failing to win a single tour match. Now captained by Peter Kirsten of Western Province, South Africa comfortably won all four ‘ODIs’ and both ‘Tests’. Lawrence Seef, who replaced the injured Barry Richards, and Graeme Pollock made 188 and 197 respectively in the second ‘Test’ but protested that the matches could not be classed as international cricket. SACU, trying to protect the ‘unofficial international’ brand it had created, fined them for the admission.

Life became very difficult for the Sri Lankans who were ostracised at home for a decision many called treasonous.

Squad: Bandula Warnapura (captain), Flavian Aponso, Hemantha Devapriya, Lantra Fernando, Mahes Goonatilleke, Nirmal Hettiaratchi, Lalith Kaluperuma, Susantha Karunaratne, Bernard Perera, Anura Ranasinghe, Ajit de Silva, Bandula de Silva, Jeryl Woutersz, Tony Opatha (player/manager).

West Indian tours, 1982/83 & 1983/84
The West Indian players were mainly talented understudies struggling to break in to the great West Indian Test team of the period, or men past their prime as Test players. First-class cricketers in the West Indies were then poorly paid and the participants, many of whom had irregular or no employment in the off-season, received between US$100,000 and $120,000 dollars for the two tours. West Indies cricket was so strong that Clive Lloyd had little need for the likes of Lawrence Rowe, Collis King and Sylvester Clarke. Rowe has since stated that he and several other players were disillusioned with the West Indies Cricket board for not selecting them despite good performances.

The strength of Caribbean cricket was evidenced in the ‘international’ matches, where South Africa received their first real test. A fiercely contested four-week series in 1982-3 took ‘unofficial internationals’ to new heights, the Springboks winning the one-day series 4-2 while the ‘Test’ series was drawn 1-1. The dominant theme of the match-ups was West Indian fast bowling. Colin Croft was one of four World Cup winners in the party. Their pace battery, featuring Clarke, Croft, Bernard Julien and Ezra Moseley, terrified Springbok batsmen who were forced to wear helmets for the first time.

The frantic first series, again organised in secret and conducted on the hoof, set up a fierce battle when the West Indians returned for a full tour the following season. Clarke was by now the dominant player on either side, claiming four five-wicket hauls in the 2-1 ‘Test’ series win. The West Indian XI also won the one-day series 4-2, helped slightly by the Springboks weakening: Barry Richards and Vince van der Bijl retired in 1983, and Mike Procter, 36, played only a single ‘one-day’ international over both tours. Henry Fotheringham, Ken McEwan, Rupert Hanley, Dave Richardson and Mandy Yachad made their debuts for South Africa. Clive Rice was handed the captaincy for the 3rd and 4th "Tests" after the sacking of Peter Kirsten for the ‘ODI’ series defeat. Kirsten maintained his place in the team and top scored in the next match. Graham Gooch played against the West Indies team during both tours as a member of a South African provincial side.

The improvement in the on-field action was in strict contrast to the off-field environment. South Africa stood permanently on the brink of civil war as PW Botha’s brutal government repressed the black majority and excluded them from a new ‘multi-racial’ parliament. This oppression was met with violent reprisals while the rebels were controversial figures in the townships that had worshipped West Indian cricketers only to see them collaborating with the apartheid enemy.

The participants received a life ban from Caribbean cricket in 1983. In many instances, they were ostracised socially and professionally, such was the hostility toward players that complied with the South African apartheid system. In contrast, the players commented on a warm reception from both blacks and whites in South Africa and the tour may have been a positive influence on relations between races. It was one of the few occasions when white and black people had played sport together in South Africa. The players' bans were lifted in 1989 but the only tour member who played for West Indies again was Moseley, at the age of 32. Stephenson and Clarke had very successful first-class careers in South Africa.

A fierce battle raged – and continues to rage – about the wisdom of the West Indian tours. Were the rebels, as they themselves insisted, showing white South Africa that black men were their equals as the republic stumbled towards democracy? Or, as their detractors still maintain, had they sold themselves and their dignity to extend the life of a disgraced and barbarous government?

1982-3 squad: Lawrence Rowe (captain), Richard Austin, Herbert Chang, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft, Alvin Greenidge, Bernard Julien, Alvin Kallicharran, Collis King, Everton Mattis, Ezra Moseley, David Murray, Derick Parry, Franklyn Stephenson, Emmerson Trotman, Ray Wynter, Albert Padmore (player/manager).

1983-4 squad: Lawrence Rowe (captain), Hartley Alleyne, Faoud Bacchus, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft, Alvin Greenidge, Bernard Julien, Alvin Kallicharran, Collis King, Monte Lynch, Everton Mattis, Ezra Moseley, David Murray, Derick Parry, Franklyn Stephenson, Emmerson Trotman, Albert Padmore (player/manager).

Australian tours, 1985/86 & 1986/87
The tours by the Australians were led by former Test captain Kim Hughes, with South Africa winning both "Test" series 1–0. The squad included several players who represented Australia at Test level, such as fast bowlers Terry Alderman, Rodney Hogg and Carl Rackemann, spinners Trevor Hohns and Tom Hogan opening batsman John Dyson and Steve Smith. The tour weakened the Australian Test side by depriving it of several of its best players.

Hughes accused the Australian Cricket Board of fostering dissatisfaction among the players, making recruitment for the rebel tours easy. Hughes never played international cricket again and later returned to South Africa to play for Natal. However, Alderman, Hohns and Rackemann returned to represent Australia in later series.

On the first Australian tour, 1985–86, fast bowlers Hugh Page and Corrie van Zyl made their debuts for South Africa. During the second tour in 1986-87, batsman Brian Whitfield and spinner Omar Henry who became the second non-white player to represent South Africa, and two future stars, all-rounder Brian McMillan and fast bowler Allan Donald made their South African debuts. Kepler Wessels played for the Australian team on their second tour.

South Africa won both ‘Test’ series 1-0, both ‘ODI’ series and a ‘day-night’ series. Yet the on-field action could never escape the shadow of apartheid. Newspaper revelations in January 1986 revealed what non-white leaders in South Africa and anti-apartheid campaigners worldwide had been claiming for years: the tours were not funded by business, as Ali Bacher and SACU had always insisted, but by the apartheid government through enormous tax breaks.

1985-6 squad: Kim Hughes (captain), Terry Alderman, John Dyson, Peter Faulkner, Mike Haysman, Tom Hogan, Rodney Hogg, Trevor Hohns, John Maguire, Rod McCurdy, Carl Rackemann, Steve Rixon, Greg Shipperd, Steve Smith, Mick Taylor, Graham Yallop.

1986-7 squad: Kim Hughes (captain), Terry Alderman, John Dyson, Peter Faulkner, Mike Haysman, Tom Hogan, Rodney Hogg, Trevor Hohns, John Maguire, Rod McCurdy, Carl Rackemann, Steve Rixon, Greg Shipperd, Steve Smith, Mick Taylor, Kepler Wessels, Graham Yallop.

English XI, 1990
In 1990, the final tour was led by former England captain Mike Gatting. The team included former and current England players such as batsmen Tim Robinson, Bill Athey and Chris Broad, wicketkeeper Bruce French, and the fast bowlers Paul Jarvis, Graham Dilley and Neil Foster.

Kepler Wessels returned to represent the land of his birth. Roy Pienaar, Dave Rundle and Richard Snell made their debuts for South Africa. Jimmy Cook was appointed as South African captain and Allan Donald took 8 wickets for 59 in the match. South Africa went on to win the only 'Test'. England lost the limited overs series 3–1.

Most of the squad did not play for England again. Gatting served a three-year ban from Test cricket before his recall to the England side for the tour of India and Sri Lanka in 1992–93, along with John Emburey and Paul Jarvis. Emburey made both rebel tours and served two suspensions. Foster subsequently played a solitary Test, against Australia at Lord's in 1993.

The squad for the rebel tour was announced during the fourth Test of the 1989 The Ashes series in England. Players in the squad were not considered for the rest of the series, which allowed future long-term England players, batsman Michael Atherton and fast bowler Devon Malcolm, an opportunity to make their England debuts.

The tour was a financial disaster as it coincided with the "unbanning" of the African National Congress and the release from prison of Nelson Mandela. As South Africa began the dismantling of apartheid, Ali Bacher was surprised at the scale of the mass demonstrations against the tour as previous rebel tours had passed smoothly in the country. The second tour scheduled for 1990-91 was cancelled.

Squad: Mike Gatting (captain), Bill Athey, Kim Barnett, Chris Broad, Chris Cowdrey, Graham Dilley, Richard Ellison, John Emburey, Neil Foster, Bruce French, Paul Jarvis, Matthew Maynard, Tim Robinson, Greg Thomas, Alan Wells, David Graveney (player/manager).

South Africa returns to international cricket
31 Players were selected to play for South Africa in the 19 Rebel "Tests". Vincent van der Bijl, Rupert Hanley, Denys Hobson, Kevin McKenzie, Alan Kourie, Brian Whitfield, Kenny Watson, Roy Pienaar, Hugh Page, Ray Jennings, Henry Fotheringham, Lawrence Seeff, Stephen Jefferies, Ken McEwan and Garth le Roux all retired or were beyond their prime before official international cricket resumed for South Africa. Before isolation, Graeme Pollock (23 Tests), Mike Procter (7 Tests) and Barry Richards (4 Tests) had played official Test cricket.

South Africa resumed official international cricket in 1991 with a short tour of India, and uparticipation in the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Clive Rice (3), Corrie van Zyl (2), Dave Rundle (2) and Mandy Yachad (1), only played in official ODIs for SouthBacher and SACU felt obliged to act to Africa. Being in the twilight of their careers, Jimmy Cook played 3 Tests and 6 ODIs, Peter Kirsten 12 Tests and 40 ODIs, Adrian Kuiper 1 Test and 25 ODIs and Omar Henry 3 Tests and 3 ODIs. Allan Donald, 72 Tests and 164 ODIs, Brian McMillan 38 Tests and 78 ODIs and Dave Richardson 42 Tests and 122 ODIs, became the backbone of the new Protea outfit, and to a lesser extent, Richard Snell who played in 5 Tests and 42 ODIs. Kepler Wessels became captain of the team and played pin 16 Tests and 55 ODIs for South Africa. During the years of isolation, Wessels played for Australia in 24 Tests and 54 ODIs.

All of the matches played during the rebel tours were granted first-class status, which was subsequently withdrawn by the International Cricket Council in 1993. As of August 2007, the ICC is reviewing the status of all matches played in South Africa between 1961 and 1991, including those played during the rebel tours, with a view to restoring first-class status to some matches.
The ICC reinstated South Africa as a Test nation in 1991 after the deconstruction of apartheid, and the team played its first sanctioned match since 1970 (and its first ever One-Day International) against India in Calcutta on 10 November 1991.

Since South Africa have been reinstated they have achieved mixed success, and hosted the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup in 2003. However, it is widely believed the sides containing the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Gary Kirsten and Hansie Cronje grossly underachieved, gaining a reputation as "chokers", due to them reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup three times, but failing to progress into the finals, with Herschelle Gibbs famously dropping Australian captain Steve Waugh in 1999 in a Super Six match. In the second part of the 1990s, South Africa had the highest winning percentage in ODIs of any team, but they were knocked out of the 1996 World Cup in the quarter-finals, and then were eliminated on countback after tieing their semi-final against Australia in 1999. In 2003, South Africa were one of the favourites but were eliminated by one run in the group stages after they had mistakenly counted the number of runs they needed.

They have also had bad press for failing in vital matches in global tournaments including the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20.

With Donald retiring, Cronje banned for match-fixing and later died in a plane crash, and Pollock also retiring from international cricket, the team has once again changed shape. It is currently captained by Graeme Smith, although following injuries to Smith and Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince deputised as Test captain on 12 July 2006. At the age of 29, he became the first non-white man to captain the once all-white South African cricket team. Due to a racial quota policy, the side was once required to contain black players, unlike the past. However, that policy was rescinded in 2007.

South Africa has a record of failing to win major tournaments and is much-maligned because of this. The 1992 Cricket World Cup, for example, featured a rain-affected semi-final played before the introduction of the rain rule. South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when rain intervened. After the delay they were left in the situation of requiring 22 runs from one ball in order to progress. In 1996 they were eliminated in the quarter-finals despite being one of the fancied teams and having qualified first in their group. At the 1999 Cricket World Cup, South Africa played against Australia in the last Super Six match as well as the knock-out semifinal. Australia defeated the Proteas in the Super Six match and recorded a thrSouth Africa returns to international cricketilling tie in the semifinal, which was enough to knock the Africans out of the tournament since Australia had previously beaten them (in the match immediately beforehand). It is in the Super Six match that Steve Waugh is reported to have told Herschelle Gibbs "Mate, you just dropped the World Cup" when the latter dropped him en route to a match-winning century, a comment which has been denied by Waugh himself in interviews. The image of the crestfallen South Africans following the run-out of their last batsman Allan Donald while the Australians celebrated in a huddle has become an iconic sporting image.

South Africa hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, but failed to progress beyond the group stage due to a misunderstanding of how many runs they needed to score in a rain-affected run chase. As a result of this, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and was replaced by young batsman Graeme Smith, although Pollock continued to play for the team. Under Smith's leadership, South Africa has achieved some success, although they have been hampered by the retirements of many star players, including fast bowler Allan Donald and one-day specialist Jonty Rhodes. As a result, they had a poor 2004, only winning against the West Indies.

They had a rollercoaster ride that included dominant wins over England, the West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, and a narrow win over Sri Lanka, but devastating losses to Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh that cost them the number one ranking. Then they bowed out in the semifinals with their lowest ever score in a World Cup as Australia bowled them out for 149 and won by 7 wickets. South Africa are regarded by many as the best team never to have won the Cricket World Cup.

In the 2011 World Cup, South Africa topped Group B with the distinction of bowling out every side they played within the 50 over limit. In the quarter final they were beaten by New Zealand after suffering a dramatic collapse and losing eight wickets for 68 runs. This defeat means that South Africa have never won a knockout game in the Cricket World Cup.

They also hold the record of the highest successful run chase and made the highest total (the latter record has been surpassed) in One-Day Internationals (438-9 in 49.5 overs), in an iconic match against Australia on 12 March 2006. This game is considered by many to be the greatest One-Day International ever played.

South Africa beat Netherlands by 231 runs in Mohali in Group matches in ICC World Cup 2011, The 231-run win is the fourth largest margin of victory for any team in World Cups and the largest for South Africa in World Cups. It is also the second largest margin of victory for South Africa in ODIs on 3rd March 2011. The 87-run stand between JP Duminy and Colin Ingram is the highest for the sixth wicket for South Africa in World Cups. The highest sixth-wicket stand for South Africa in ODIs is the 137 between Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock against Zimbabwe in 1997. The triumph is South Africa's seventh by a fringe of hundred or more runs in World Cups.

After many of the major players in the Australian side that had dominated the early 2000s had retired, the number one place in the ICC Test Championship was a wide open race, with India and England having short stints as the number one side. South Africa toured England in 2012 for a three test series with the winner assured of being the world number one. South Africa went on to take the series comfortably 2-0 and claim the top spot in the rankings, a position they have held onto for over a full calendar year.

During this time of dominance in the test arena, the ODI and T20I performances were far less consistent, as South Africa search for a winning formula ahead of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. A notable ODI series loss to New Zealand at home in January 2013, and a further loss in Sri Lanka highlighted South Africa's recent difficulties.

Exits from the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy only served to improve South Africa's reputation as 'chokers' in major tournaments. In the latter years of Smith's career, South Africa split the captaincy in the shorter forms of the game, with the ODI side being led by AB de Villiers and the T20I side by Faf du Plessis.

After Smith's retirement, Hashim Amla was appointed captain of the test side, leading his side to victory in his first test in charge, in Galle in Sri Lanka.

The South African cricket team has gained a reputation as a frequent choker at global cricket tournaments conducted by the International Cricket Council. Despite being consistently one of the best-performing nations in all forms of cricket since its return from isolation, the Proteas have never progressed beyond the semi-final stage at a World Cup. This reputation was further cemented by the fact that South Africa had never won a game during the knock-out stage of the World Cup; a record which was broken in the quarter-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, when they won against highly rated Sri Lanka.