New worlds and old prejudices: Australia, cricket and the subcontinent: 1880-1960

Thomas Francis Heenan, William David Dunstan

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    Until recently, Australia s cricketing past has been coloured by an anglocentric bias. Australian cricket writers, players and administrators mainly have deemed Australian series with subcontinental countries of much lesser importance than Ashes contests. In surveying Australia s cricketing relations with the subcontinent from the 1880s until Australia s first fully fledged official tour of the region in 1959-1960, this paper seeks to redress this imbalance the paper explores how initial cricketing relations were viewed within the prism of Australia s traditional cricketing ties with England. This did not alter with India s attaining official Test match status in the 1930s. Australian tours of India were confined to unofficial teams, and it was not until 1947-1948 that the first official exchange occurred. As this paper documents, the importance of subcontinental cricket tours increased after the war, as both Labor and Liberal Coalition governments encouraged the use of cricket to foster diplomatic ties at a time of increasing decolonisation and when Indian and Australian external relations were ideologically opposed the governments efforts were not fully supported by many Australian cricketers and administrators. While some, such as the Australian captain Ian Johnson, embraced cricketing diplomacy, many of his colleagues coloured these new cricketing worlds with old Australian prejudices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2135 - 2153
    Number of pages19
    JournalThe International Journal of the History of Sport
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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