Should the West Indies Have Toured South Africa in 1959? C. L. R. James Versus Learie Constantine
The West Indies were invited to tour South Africa in 1959 in order to play black teams affiliated to the non-racial South African Cricket Board of Control. The arrangement was opposed by the newly formed South African Sports Association because the tour was arranged within the parameters of the government’s apartheid policy. There was, however, a strong counter-argument that the tour would embarrass the South African government. The subsequent debate on the merits of the venture included C.L.R. James taking an opposite viewpoint to that of Learie Constantine. Irrespective of who was right, the cancellation of the tour had an immediate impact on the lives of South Africa’s black players, some leaving the country, whilst the West Indians were curious to find out more about Africa.