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The Imperial Game

Topics to be discussed: the spread of cricket to colonies, local adoption


What factors led to the adoption of cricket in Australia, New Zealand, India, the West Indies and South Africa?

Can we discern important differences between each region?

How quickly did cricket become 'creole'?

How can we account for the failure of cricket in the US and Canada?

TV Empire of Cricket [4 programmes on England, Australia, India and West Indies, NB the episode on England is incomplete on youtube but available here via your normal login]; Cricket in Australia (1987); From Cloth Cap To Helmet - The History of New Zealand Cricket (1992)


Keith Sandiford, Cricket nurseries of colonial Barbados: the elite schools 1865-1966 (1998)

Jared van Duinen, The British world and an Australian national identity : Anglo-Australian cricket, 1860--1901 (library ebook)

Clem Seecharan, Muscular learning: cricket and education in the making of the British West Indies at the end of the 19thC (2006)

Jason Kaufman, Orlando Patterson 'Cross-National Cultural Diffusion: The Global Spread of Cricket' American Sociological Review, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 82-110

Dean Allen 'South African cricket and British imperialism, 1870–1910' Sport in Society, (2009)

Ramachandra Guha 'Cricket and Politics in Colonial India' Past & Present, No. 161 (Nov., 1998), pp. 155-190

Manthia Diawara 'Englishness and Blackness: Cricket as Discourse on Colonialism' Callaloo, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 830-844

Michael P. Costeloe 'To Bowl a Mexican Maiden Over: Cricket in Mexico, 1827-1900' Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan., 2007), pp. 112-124

Brian Stoddart 'Sport, Cultural Imperialism, and Colonial Response in the British Empire' Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 30, No. 4 (Oct., 1988), pp. 649-673

David Cooper 'Canadians Declare "It Isn't Cricket": A Century of Rejection of the Imperial Game, 1860-1960' Journal of Sport History, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Spring 1999), pp. 51-81

Greg Ryan, The Making of New Zealand Cricket, 1832-1914 (2003)

Tim Lockley, '"The Manly Game": Cricket and Masculinity in Savannah, Georgia, 1859' International Journal of the History of Sport 20 (September 2003), pp.77-98.

Elizabeth Cooper, 'Playing Against Empire' Slavery & Abolition 39.3 (2018)

Tom Melville, The tented field: A history of cricket in America (1998)