This book investigates the declining status of cricket within contemporary British society after the high-water mark of England’s Ashes victory in 2005. It considers the deep roots of the game within British national life as well as its ever-changing nature, and reflects upon the current significance and relevance of a sport that many still perceive as deeply traditional and conservative in outlook.
Adopting a socio-political approach, the book offers new perspectives on both the contemporary realities of modern cricket and the social, cultural and political condition of modern Britain. Rather than focusing on personality and the detail of match history, the book looks at how the sport has coped with wider societal changes, such as those in Afro-Caribbean and South Asian communities, and how this has demanded adaptation by cricket’s governing authorities. The book also considers the international context in which the game continues to develop and how the initiative with new formats such as Twenty20 has been lost to other cricketing nations, and it offers insight into the continued expansion and recent professionalization of the women’s game, hinting at ways in which cricket as a whole could recapture the public’s imagination.
Cricket and Contemporary Society in Britain is an invaluable resource for those studying the sociology of sport, sport history, cultural studies, the politics of sport, cultural identity, sport management and sport development. It is also a fascinating read for anybody with an interest in cricket or in the value of sport in an era of rapid socio-economic, political and cultural change.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction and Framework for Discussion
2 The Depths of 1999 and the Rehabilitation of Cricket
3 Impact of the 2005 Ashes Victory
4 Cricket and Identity: Some Geographical Reflections
5 Cricket and the British Afro-Caribbean Community: Losing the Heritage
6 Realising the Power of the South Asian Community
7 Twenty20: Cricket’s 21st Century Revolution
8 Comparing the British Cricketing Experience
9 The Advance of Women’s Cricket
10 Concluding Remarks
Russell Holden is a lecturer, writer, researcher and broadcaster having written and taught widely on the sociology of sport, with a particular interest in the role and value of cricket in contemporary life. He launched In the Zone Sport and Politics Consultancy, an organization based in Wales, working both in the UK and overseas, which is dedicated to exploring the many and varied interconnections between sport and politics, straddling issues of identity, nationalism, human rights, gender and reconciliation.