Empire & Cricket

The South African Experience 1884-1914

Edited by: Bruce Murray, Goolam Vahed

Empire and Cricket illuminates the complex relationship between cricket and the making of South African society between 1884 and 1914. This critical era for South Africa and the British Empire encompassed the economic revolution following: the discoveries of diamonds and gold, the South African or Anglo-Boer War, and the segregationist structuring of society. It is the gripping story of how cricket lay at the heart of social and political developments in South Africa and the wider British Empire, brought to life with numerous historic photographs of players and historic sites. The book's contributors describe how cricket acted as a vehicle for the Empire, and how it impacted race and class. It maps the role of the small and tightly knit white elite with overlapping interests in cricket, politics, and business, as well as the largely ignored world of the 'non-white' (African, 'colored,' and Indian) cricketers and politicians. The close connection between politics and cricket goes back to the emergence of South Africa as a test playing country in the late 19th century. Cape Prime Minister Cecil John Rhodes included cricket in his drive to impose a segregationist structure in the African sub-continent, effectively ensuring the segregationist nature of South African cricket for much of the 20th century. The feats of those who first placed South African cricket on the international map are recalled, along with chronicles of many other unsung local heroes. Empire and Cricket explores the widespread enthusiasm for cricket among all of South Africa's communities, and the passion and success with which blacks played the game.


346 pages

Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781868885404