Cricket is an enduring paradox. On the one hand, it symbolises much that is outmoded: imperialism; a leisured elite; a rural, aristocratic Englishness. On the other, it endures as a global game and does so by skilful adaptation, trading partly on its mythic past and partly on its capacity to repackage itself. This ambitious new history recounts the politics of cricket around the world since the Second World War, examining key cultural and political themes, including decolonisation, racism, gender, globalisation, corruption and commercialisation.

Part One looks at the transformation of cricket cultures in the ten territories of the former British Empire in the years immediately after 1945, a time when decolonisation and the search for national identity touched every cricket playing region in the world. Part Two focuses on globalisation and the game’s evolution as an international sport, analysing: social change and the Ashes; the campaigns for new cricket formats; the development of the women’s game; the new breed of coach; the limits to the game’s global expansion; and the rise of India as the world’s leading cricket power.

Cricket: A Political History of the Global Game, 1945-2017 is fascinating reading for anybody interested in the contemporary history of sport.

part I|1 pages

Cricket and the end of empire

chapter Chapter 1|15 pages

Fossilised reactionaries?

English cricket since 1945

chapter Chapter 2|18 pages

A nation of blow-ins?

Cricket in Australia since 1945

chapter Chapter 3|24 pages

‘The partnership of the horse and its rider’

Cricket in Southern Africa since 1945

chapter Chapter 4|13 pages

A relative lack of interest

Cricket in New Zealand since 1945

chapter Chapter 5|17 pages

Father, king, statesman, general, prince, don

West Indian cricket culture since 1945

chapter Chapter 6|18 pages

The soul of a nation, long suppressed?

Cricket in India since 1945

chapter Chapter 7|18 pages

Cricket in a hard country

Pakistani cricket since 1947

chapter Chapter 8|13 pages

‘We rule here, you rule there’

Cricket in East Pakistan and Bangladesh since 1947

chapter Chapter 9|17 pages

After brewing tea for the empire

Cricket in Sri Lanka since 1945

part II|2 pages

Cricket in the age of globalisation

chapter Chapter 10|21 pages

Straight-shooting blokes

Social distinction, masculinity and myth in the Ashes, 1945 to 2015

chapter Chapter 11|19 pages

‘Everyone seemed to be “with it”’

Cricket politics and the coming of the one-day game, 1940–1970 1

chapter Chapter 12|24 pages

‘Paint a picture, and keep it the right way up’

Cricket and the mass media 1945–2015

chapter Chapter 13|27 pages

Women’s cricket

The feminism that dared not speak its name: a brief history

chapter Chapter 14|13 pages

Remove the gunk in the middle . . .

The coming of Twenty20 and the Indian Premier League

chapter Chapter 15|21 pages

Have you made this team great, or have they made you?

Cricket, coaching and globalisation

chapter Chapter 16|28 pages

Beyond the boundaries

The drive to globalise cricket, and its limits