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Keith A.P. Sandiford

In a fiercely nationalistic era, Englishmen regarded cricket, an exclusively English creation unsullied by outside influence, as proof of their cultural supremacy. In cricket the Victorians consolidated a Georgian legacy because the game had developed during the Hanoverian age into the general form which its playing aspects display today. By the later nineteenth century, too, championship matches were played over three days and attracted thousands of spectators to grounds all over England, establishing social patterns which endured for almost a century. By the 1860s, public school cricket was systematised with much competition for the services of the better professionals during the spring before the start of the regular county schedule. Martin Bladen, seventh Lord Hawke, who was born into a landed family in 1860, was educated at Eton and Oxford, and took his seat in the House of Lords in 1888.

in The imperial game
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Keith A.P. Sandiford

The imperial game analyses the forms and fortunes of cricket as it spread to various segments of the old British empire and beyond. The story of imperial cricket is really about the colonial quest for identity in the face of the colonisers' search for authority. Cricket was a vital element in Anglo-Saxon culture. Indeed, some observers in the nineteenth century would have termed it the most significant and the most visible, apart from dress and language. The fervent devotion to cricket seen in Australia was strangely absent in Canada, even though there was considerable anglicisation of that huge country long before the twentieth century. Interestingly, as in England, gender provided another of cricket's peculiar boundaries in the Caribbean. Throughout most of the Victorian period, ladies were discouraged from serious participation in cricket in England and the Women's Cricket Association there was not firmly established until 1926.

in The imperial game
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Cricket, Culture and Society

Sports history offers many profound insights into the character and complexities of modern imperial rule. This book examines the fortunes of cricket in various colonies as the sport spread across the British Empire. It helps to explain why cricket was so successful, even in places like India, Pakistan and the West Indies where the Anglo-Saxon element remained in a small minority. The story of imperial cricket is really about the colonial quest for identity in the face of the colonisers' search for authority. The cricket phenomenon was established in nineteenth-century England when the Victorians began glorifying the game as a perfect system of manners, ethics and morals. Cricket has exemplified the colonial relationship between England and Australia and expressed imperialist notions to the greatest extent. In the study of the transfer of imperial cultural forms, South Africa provides one of the most fascinating case studies. From its beginnings in semi-organised form through its unfolding into a contemporary internationalised structure, Caribbean cricket has both marked and been marked by a tight affiliation with complex social processing in the islands and states which make up the West Indies. New Zealand rugby demonstrates many of the themes central to cricket in other countries. While cricket was played in India from 1721 and the Calcutta Cricket Club is probably the second oldest cricket club in the world, the indigenous population was not encouraged to play cricket.