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.
- Chapter One: Slave Society and Cricket The Preliminary Exploration
- Chapter Two: The Elite Schools and British Imperialism - Cricket, Christianity and The Classics, 1860s–90s, with Special Reference to Barbados
- Chapter Three: The Making of a West Indian Intelligentsia - The Culture of Protest in the 1890s
- Chapter Four: The First English Cricketers in the West Indies and the Advent of Black Players - Slade Lucas’s Tour Of 1895
- Chapter Five: Lord Hawke’s (and Priestley’s) Tours of the West Indies, 1897 - The Political Context
- Chapter Six: Going ‘Home’ - The First West Indies Tour of England, 1900 — an Intellectual History
- Chapter Seven: The Shaping Of West Indies Cricket - The Pitfalls and Challenge Of Insularity, the Jamaican Case, 1900
- Chapter Eight: A Temperament for Gradualism in the British West Indies - The Intellectual and the Cricketer