The Cambridge Companion to Cricket

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Few other team sports can equal the global reach of cricket. Rich in history and tradition, it is both quintessentially English and expansively international, a game that has evolved and changed dramatically in recent times. Demonstrating how the history of cricket and its international popularity is entwined with British imperial expansion, this book examines the social and political impact of the game in a variety of cultural sites: the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. An international team of contributors explores the enduring influence of cricket on English identity, examines why cricket has seized the imagination of so many literary figures and provides profiles of iconic players including Bradman, Lara and Tendulkar. Presenting a global panoramic view of cricket's complicated development, its unique adaptability and its political and sporting controversies, the book provides a rich insight into a unique sporting and cultural heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Written by the best intellects working on the subject, the Cambridge Companion takes cricket analysis to another level.' Ravi Shastri, former India captain and commentator

'Well researched and argued, this is a must read for any cricket enthusiast.' Geoff Marsh, former Australian international and coach

'This is a welcome addition to the existing corpus of literature on cricket. It fills some very important gaps and is eminently readable.' Jagmohan Dalmiya, former President of the International Cricket Council

'… the really serious cricket fan will be bowled over by this book (sorry!) while casual readers will almost certainly find at least a few chapters on their specific interests really compelling.' The Bookbag

'Some of the essays in this volume take the breath away … a groundbreaking and exciting volume … a joyful and profound contribution to cricketing literature.' The Telegraph

'This book, a collection of essays united by little more than skilful writing and authority, accomplishes a dual task: it makes the familiar unfamiliar and vice-versa … Reading the essays in any order is a rewarding experience.'

'… will interest the serious student of the game … well researched and intelligently written.' Sixtyplussurfers (

'An important addition to the small but scholarly body of work that has enriched cricket writing … the anthology helps unmask the myriad aspects of cricket, which, to quote a cliché, is more than a game.' The Telegraph (India)

'Most revealing about the history of cricket.' The Times Literary Supplement

'[A] rewarding read and a valuable snapshot view of world cricket.' Australian Book Review

'Cerebral, deep and insightful.' All Out Cricket

'Impressively, the collection regularly delves into the sport's copious and diverse literature. … undoubtedly contributes to this social heritage. … written mainly by academics but is devoid of language that leaves you reaching for the dictionary and is priced so that it can be read outside of the university library.' The Morning Star

'… manages to be both a serious academic contribution to the literature of the subject and an entertaining read - even for those who … are not close followers of the game.' The Independent

'This Companion is to be welcomed because it provides a succession of informed insights into the current state of play … it is clear that sports historians in general and cricket historians in particular will find much that is interesting here and much to make them think.' Sport in History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521761291
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2011
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Bateman is a freelance writer and editor and an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, UK. He is the author of Cricket, Literature and Culture: Symbolising the Nation, Destabilising Empire (2009) and has contributed articles and chapters on cricket and its literature to a number of journals and books, as well as to the popular press. He is also co-editor of Sporting Sounds: Relationships Between Sport and Music (with John Bale, 2008). A former professional musician, he writes on music for The Guardian and other publications.

Jeffrey Hill is Emeritus Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies at De Montfort University, Leicester, where from 2001 until 2007 he was Director of the International Centre for Sport, History and Culture. Recent work has been largely focused on literary representations of sport, with a book on sport novels (Sport and the Literary Imagination: Essays in History, Literature and Sport, 2006), an article on Joseph O'Neill's Netherland, and book chapters on the place of the comic book hero Alf Tupper in British post-war society. His Sport in History: An Introduction will appear in 2011.

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Table of Contents

Cricket: a chronology; Introduction Anthony Bateman and Jeffrey Hill; 1. Cricket pastoral and Englishness Anthony Bateman; 2. Cricket in the eighteenth century Rob Light; 3. Cricket and corruption David Frith; 4. Broadcasting and cricket in England Jack Williams; 5. Bodyline, Jardine and masculinity Patrick F. McDevitt; 6. Don Bradman: just a boy from Bowral Tom Heenan and David Dunstan; 7. The Packer cricket war Richard Cashman; 8. New Zealand cricket and the colonial relationship Greg Ryan; 9. C. L. R. James and cricket Kenneth Surin; 10. Reading Brian Lara and the traditions of Caribbean cricket poetry Claire Westall; 11. The detachment of West Indies cricket from the nationalist scaffold Hilary McD. Beckles; 12. The Indian Premier League and world cricket Boria Majumdar; 13. Hero, celebrity and icon: Sachin Tendulkar and Indian public culture Prashant Kidambi; 14. Conflicting loyalties: nationalism and religion in India-Pakistan cricket relations Mihir Bose; 15. Cricket and representations of beauty: Newlands cricket ground and the roots of apartheid in South African cricket Andre Odendaal; 16. Writing the modern game Rob Steen; 17. Cricket and international politics Stephen Wagg and Jon Gemmell; Further reading.

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