'A man's game': Cricket, war and masculinity, South Africa, 1899-1902

06 Jul 2016

As practitioners of the imperial sport of the Victorian age, cricketers rallied whenever war descended upon England and its colonies. The South African War of 1899-1902 was no different. Adding to existing work on cricket's imperial development within South Africa, this study marks a significant contribution to research on the link between masculinity, war and sport during the Victorian era. A concept emerging from the English public schools of the mid- to late nineteenth century, the masculine ethos of sport and military honour had reached colonial South Africa by the outbreak of war in 1899. In its analysis of cricket and masculinity, this essay examines the events surrounding the war in South Africa and provides an example of the distinct relationship that existed between the military and the masculinity of sport and its organisation during this era.