Imperial Wanderers: Cricket Tours in the High Noon of Empire, c. 1890–1914
Speaker: Dr Prashant Kidambi (University of Leicester)
In the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, three amateur cricket teams from Britain toured colonial India. This paper explores the politics of the English cricketing visits to India. The first section sets these trips within the broader context of sporting tours in the British Empire during the 1890s, a singular decade in which such ventures became freighted with imperial meanings to an extent that was hitherto unprecedented. The following section illustrates how the English cricket tours of India became implicated in the racial discourses and practices of the Raj. The final section shows how these tours exacerbated tensions between European and Indian cricketers in colonial India and rendered hollow the frequently expressed claim that sport deepened the bond between rulers and ruled. Notably, the Parsi cricketers of Bombay showed that Indians could succeed at the imperial game by inflicting defeats on all three visiting teams. In turn, their sporting triumphs emboldened the colonised to affirm the principle of parity within an unequal society, a claim that was deeply resented by the Anglo-Indian Raj.
Dr Prashant Kidambi is Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History in the Department of History at the University of Leicester. He is the author of The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890–1920 (2007), and has also had articles published in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Journal of Urban History, and Planning Perspectives.
Time and Date: 5:15 PM, Monday, 5th June.
Location: John S. Cohen Room (203), Institute of Historical Research (Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU).
All are welcome. The full seminar programme can be found here: http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminar/sport-leisure-history. For more information about the seminar, please contact us at email@example.com.
You can also join the BSSH South mailing list by following this link: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=SPORT-AND-LEISURE-HISTORY&A=1, visit our website at https://bsshsouth.wordpress.com, and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BSSHSouth.