We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Cover

Cricket Country

An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire

Prashant Kidambi

Publication Date - October 2022

ISBN: 9780198843146

448 pages
Paperback
8.5 x 5.3 inches

Retail Price to Students: $21.95

Description

Cricket is an Indian game accidentally invented by the English, it has famously been said. But India was represented by a cricket team long before it became a nation.

Conceived by an unlikely coalition of imperial and local elites, it took twelve years and four failed attempts before the first Indian cricket team made its debut on the playing fields of imperial Britain. Drawing on an unparalleled range of original archival sources, Cricket Country is the story of this first 'All India' national cricket tour of Great Britain and Ireland. It is also simultaneously the extraordinary tale of how the idea of India took shape on the cricket pitch long before the country gained its political independence.

Replete with a highly improbable cast of characters, the tour took place against the backdrop of anti-colonial protest and revolutionary terrorism in the high noon of Edwardian imperialism, with an Indian team that included the young, newly enthroned ruler of the most powerful Sikh state in India as its captain and, remarkably for the day, two Dalit cricketers as well.

Over the course of their historic tour in the blazing Coronation summer of 1911, these Indian cricketers participated in a collective enterprise that epitomizes the way in which sport - and above all cricket - helped fashion the imagined communities of both nation and empire.

Features

  • Drawing on an unparalleled range of original archival sources, Cricket Country is the story of this first 'All India' national cricket tour of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • The extraordinary tale of how the idea of India took shape on the cricket pitch long before the country gained its political independence.
  • A tale with an improbable cast of characters, set against the backdrop of anti-colonial protest and revolutionary terrorism in the high noon of Edwardian imperialism, with an Indian team that included the young, newly enthroned, ruler of the most powerful Sikh state in India as its captain and, remarkably for the day, two Dalit cricketers as well.
  • Over the course of a historic tour in the blazing Coronation summer of 1911, these Indian cricketers participated in a collective enterprise that epitomizes the role played by sport in fashioning the imagined communities of both nation and empire.
  • Shortlisted for the 2020 Wolfson History Book Prize

About the Author(s)

Prashant Kidambi, Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History School of History, Politics and International Relations University of Leicester

Prashant Kidambi is Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester. After completing graduate degrees in History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a doctorate at the University of Oxford. His research explores the interface between British imperialism and the history of modern South Asia, with a specific focus on cities. In addition to numerous articles in journals and edited volumes, he is the author of The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920 (Aldershot, 2007; London and New York, 2016). His other research interests include the social history of sport in colonial and postcolonial India.

Reviews

"For scholars involved in the humanities and social sciences of sport, there is much to learn and use from the findings reported by Kidambi from his archival research. For the philosophers of sport, this material should also prompt further reflection on the implications of spreading sports over large geographical areas while sticking to formally unified technical frameworks." -- Jacob Kornbeck, The International Journal of the History of Sport

Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Parsi Pioneers
    2. Imperial Wanderers
    3. Elusive Quest
    4. Reviving the Dream
    5. Men in White
    6. The Captain's Story
    7. City of the World
    8. Indian Summer
    9. Lost and Won
    10. Beyond the Boundary
    11. Ends and Beginnings
    Bibliography
    Index

Related Titles