Cricket and Race

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Any attempt to understand the nature of social relations and cultural identities in modern Britain must consider the significance of sport. Sports have had a crucial role in shaping and sustaining national consciousness. Because cricket has so often been regarded as a symbol of Englishness, especially amongst those with economic and political influence, the role of race in the sport provides penetrating insights into English national identity, from the belief in racial superiority underlying imperial expansion ...
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Overview

Any attempt to understand the nature of social relations and cultural identities in modern Britain must consider the significance of sport. Sports have had a crucial role in shaping and sustaining national consciousness. Because cricket has so often been regarded as a symbol of Englishness, especially amongst those with economic and political influence, the role of race in the sport provides penetrating insights into English national identity, from the belief in racial superiority underlying imperial expansion through to more recent debates about sporting links with South Africa, and racial animosities at test matches.

This book examines cricket and race in England since the late nineteenth century. The author considers how far and in what respects cricket has reflected the racist assumptions of whites, and its role as an arena for ethnic conflict as well as understanding and harmony in England. In the first half of the twentieth century, commentary on the playing abilities of West Indian cricketers was often superficially laudatory but condescending in tone, and argued that racial characteristics would limit their achievements as players. More recently, campaigns to combat racism in the sport and the contributions of African-Caribbeans and Asians to recreational cricket show how central cricket is to appraisals of the cultural factors that have shaped ethnic relations. This absorbing book provides an incisive overview of the interconnection among cricket, race and culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jack Williams is a fine historian. His reputation is deservedly high. His subject, one all too frequently disregarded or dismissed in cricket, could not be more appropriate ... This challenging, disturbing and stimulating appraisal deserves to be widely read." —The Jourbanal of the Cricket Society

"I have always been more than a little suspicious of those who have attempted over issues like the infamous Basil D’Oliveira affair in 1970, to disguise the link between cricket, politics and race. Jack Williams’ book should put an end to this hypocritical nonsense for once and for all. The author reminds us that Lord Rosebery made the connection very early on in his observations about the Empire and that cricketers from Duleepsinhji to Constantine to Worrell were aware of it.

Reading again the account of how the 1970 South African tour was forcibly cancelled and the entirely bogus, though in a few exceptional cases, well-intentioned views of those who supported the tour, reminded me of how far we have come. The book is brilliantly researched and must be read by all those who really love the game." —Sir Trevor McDonald, OBE

"Very little has been published on cricket and racism ... this book is a brave and intelligent attempt to fill the gap ... An eye-opening treatise that deserves to be in every cricket library ... I am glad that I read it." —Christopher Ondaatje, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Jack Williams writes from within the world of cricket and cricketers, and from a deep commitment to racial justice. His research has been exhaustive. He quotes fairly those with whom he disagrees. I welcome the challenge that Cricket and Race presents to all of us to question racist attitudes that we may still harbour at every level from Club Cricket to Test Cricket." —David Sheppard, Rt Rev Lord Sheppard of Liverpool

"Jack William's Cricket and Race is a welcome exploration of one of the most fascinating areas of the imperial game ... Williams makes a valuable addition to this ongoing debate, while also offering a fresh approach to the surprisingly understudied historical area of race and racism in British sport." —Jourbanal of Contemporary History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859733042
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Lexile: 1830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Williams teaches at Liverpool John Moores University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introducdon 1
1 Cricket, Race and Empire before 1914 15
2 Cricket and Racism Between the Wars 33
3 The D'Oliveira Affair and the Stop the Seventy Tour Campaign 53
4 Playing with Apartheid: The Rebel Tours to South Africa 87
5 'Fast and Brutish': Reactions to the West Indian Pace Attack 117
6 'Pak Off the Cheats' 137
7 Playing the Game: Race and Recreational Cricket 173
Conclusion 195
Bibliography 203
Index 217
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