"Basil was such a decent, unassuming and honest man that it seemed outrageous that he should not be allowed to play in his own country.
"The D'Oliveira affair of 1968 therefore marked the breaking off of English cricketing relations with South Africa and in led in due course to the complete sporting isolation of South Africa."
While disappointed at not being able to play cricket in his homeland, D'Oliveira continued to prosper. When South Africa's tour in 1970 was canceled, he performed admirably against a Rest of the World side before going on to play a starring role in England's Ashes win in Australia. His innings of 117 helped save the match at Melbourne and underline his credentials as a leading international player.
He played his final Test in 1972 at the age of 41, against Australia, bringing down the curtain on an international career which had seen him win 44 caps, score 2,484 runs and five centuries at an average of 40.06, while taking 47 wickets at 39.55 runs apiece.
D'Oliveira continued to play for another eight years at Worcestershire, finally retiring in 1980 before taking up a coaching role where he led the county to the title in 1988 and 1989.
His death on November 19, 2011, following a slow decline with Parkinson's disease, was met with great sadness, but Gifford is adamant that D'Oliveira's legacy must live on.
"England and South Africa play for the Basil D'Oliveira trophy in his memory, which is wonderful," he said.
"But we also want to set up a foundation in his name to help young South African cricketers come over here and play county cricket.
"Basil was lucky in the fact that he got out and was given the opportunity to play in England. But just think how many others missed out and how many talented kids never got the chance to show they could play at the highest level.
"We want to make sure they get that chance."
But perhaps the final word should be left to Oborne, who describes D'Oliveira's meeting with Nelson Mandela a few years after a coaching trip to South Africa.
Oborne describes their parting. "At the end Mandela rose from his chair and hugged D'Oliveira. "Thanks for coming, Basil", he said. "You must go home now. You've done your bit."