By Derek Birley
Acclaimed as a magisterial, vintage paintings, A Social heritage of English Cricket is an encyclopaedic survey of the sport, from its humble origins the entire strategy to glossy floodlit finishes. however it is additionally the tale of English tradition, reflected in a recreation that has continuously been a fancy repository of our manners, hierarchies and politics. Derek Birley’s survey of the influence on cricket of 2 international wars, Empire and ‘the English caste system’, will, contends Ian Wooldridge, ‘teach an clever baby of twelve extra approximately their historical past than she or he will ever decide up at school.’ in precisely lower than four hundred pages Birley takes us via a wealthy old tapestry: how the sport used to be snatched from rustic obscurity through gentlemanly gamblers; turned the peak of past due eighteenth century metropolitan type; was once become either image and synonym for British imperialism; and its newer fight to dislodge the discomforting social values preserved within the online game from its imperial heyday. fantastically witty and funny, peopled via larger-than-life characters from Denis Compton to Ian Botham, and absolutely forswearing nostalgia, A Social background of English Cricket is a tour-de-force by means of one of many nice writers on cricket.
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Additional info for A Social History of English Cricket
Colonial New Zealand eschewed its diversity of settler origins and experiences in favour of a mythology of itself as being settled and shaped by the best type of carefully selected, loyal British ‘stock’ – or ‘better Britons’. 3 Implicit was a distinct separation from the supposed convict taint of neighbouring Australia. Despite a multitude of trans-Tasman interactions and certain elements of an ‘Australasian’ identity prior to 1914, New Zealand exhibited a tone of moral superiority and resisted all overtures to federate as part of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 (Belich 2001: 46–52, 76–87).
1998) White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society, Annandale, NSW: Pluto. 26 Brett Hutchins Haigh, G. (1993) The Cricket War: The Inside Story of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, Melbourne: Text Publishing. Haigh, G. (1997) The Summer Game: Australia in Test Cricket 1949–71, Melbourne: Text Publishing. Haigh, G. (1998) ‘Bradman at ninety’, Wisden Cricket Monthly, September, pp. 36–39. Haigh, G. (2001) The Big Ship: Warwick Armstrong and the Making of Modern Cricket, Melbourne: Text Publishing.
Continuing cultural uniformity presents a problem for cricket, with two main issues standing out. First, homogeneity in sport is increasingly difficult to sustain and justify as, proportionally, Australia has more migrants than any other nation in the world except Israel (Bessant and Watts 2002: 230). Finding common reference points among myriad cultural differences is necessarily a process of collective negotiation and exchange. Cricket gives the appearance of being unwilling to enter, or uninterested in, such a process.
A Social History of English Cricket by Derek Birley
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