Thirty-two years ago, 18 West Indians made history when they journeyed to South Africa, a country still under apartheid, to play a cricket series. When they arrived in South Africa, they were greeted as “Honorary Whites”.
In the Caribbean, they were called various names, Rebels, Cowards, Traitors just to name a few. Most Caribbean people could not forgive them of their “sins”.
But back then playing cricket for the West Indies team was not a high paying job. For those who went to apartheid South Africa, money was the main attraction.
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.
Here is an in-depth and revealing documentary about the West Indies rebel cricket tours of South Africa in 1982/83 and 1983/84.
Today the 18 West Indians who made that trip to South Africa have been forgotten. They are no longer in the limelight, many have simply settled in the background.