Seecharan explores the role of that quintessential imperial game - cricket, and education in the shaping of identity in the British West Indies. Inspired by CLR James Beyond A Boundary, Seecharan locates the foundation of the liberal democratic tradition in access to organized cricket by the West Indian colonial, as well as the birth of an indigenous intellectual tradition dating back to the 1890s.
He argues that in the post-emancipation period because of the comparatively small numbers of Europeans coloured or mixed race people were given early exposure to two of the main instruments of imperial rule - cricket and education. Such exposure was soon expanded to larger subordinate group of Africans and Indians, and consequently engendered in them a belief that mastery of these two imperial idioms would accelerate their social and economic mobility. Cricket and education came to be INVESTED with almost magical properties: indispensable indices of belonging and instruments of deliverance, resulting in the creation of a discrete Anglophone Caribbean identity in spite of resilient rivalries.
Written with passion and imagination, this study is a major contribution to the debate on cricket and society in the West Indies.