TENNIS, APARTHEID AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, the first non-racial international tennis tour, 1971

: Badat (S.)

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277pp., illus., paperback, Pietermaritzburg, 2023


In 1971, the non-racial Southern African Lawn Tennis Union sent six promising young players on a tour to Europe. The team was known as the ‘Dhiraj’ squad, after national champion Jasmat Dhiraj.

"This is an exemplary history of the non-racial tennis Dhiraj Squad, whose international tour in 1971 has been largely forgotten. Drawing on oral histories and archives, Saleem Badat expertly reconstructs the biographies of these black tennis stars and produces a fascinating narrative that highlights their commitment to non-racialism in the face of the white racism in South Africa and internationally. His accounts of their successes and challenges on and off court provide rich insights into the lives of the players. This book is an excellent addition to the growing body of scholarship on the neglected history of non-racial sport, especially its contribution to the struggle against apartheid." Professor Noor Nieftagodien, NRF Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities, University of the Witwatersrand

Saleem Badat is Research Professor in Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He played tennis under the non-racial tennis bodies and was Natal junior tennis singles and double champion in 1972 and 1973. In 1973, he won Natal schools provincial colours. His books include The Forgotten People: Political banishment under apartheid; Black Man, You Are on Your Own and Black Student Politics, Higher Education and Apartheid.