It was immensely satisfying to watch the England team suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of South Africa. Abject batting and poor bowling from the English was matched by excellent bowling (particularly from Andrew Hall) and swashbuckling batting by South Africa who approached their innings like a 20/20 match! The South Africans also seemed intent on throwing off their tag of chokers in this match which assumed knockout value. The over rated Freddie Flintoff once more failed with the bat as did Michael Vaughan. Is this the end of the line for him as one day captain and indeed his one day career? They do play West Indies next however and we have a tendency in recent years of bringing severely out of form batsmen right back into form. I won’t be surprised if Flintoff makes some runs or if Vaughan does the same and manages to save his one day career.
On April 17, 1961, American-trained Cuban exiles invaded Cuba with American support from the sea and air. Vastly outnumbered, their expectations of massive Cuban defections to their side never materialised and they were soundly defeated with over 100 killed and 1 189 taken prisoner. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a major foreign policy embarrassment for the US and President Kennedy and would serve to both strenghten Castro's hold on power and bring the Soviet Union firmly on to his side.
Also on this day, thirty-five years ago, three black men were placed in solitary confinement. One, Robert King, proved his innocence and was finally released in 2001. The other two, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox still languish in solitary confinement today! The men, known as the Angola Three, were put into solitary on the same day that a young white prison guard was murdered and then convicted of the guard’s murder in a trial later exposed as a farce. 12 775 days in solitary confinement for a crime they never committed. Most Americans will have never heard about this case, of the men unjustly confined to a 6x9 cell, of this severe abuse of human rights, of this glaring example of what it means to be black in the US. An article about this can be read here.