South Arican cricket and British imperialism, 1870-1910

11 Jul 2016

During the later years of Queen Victoria's reign, cricket was as popular as ever in the home country while overseas the game's influence had spread to all boundaries of Britain's Empire. It was during this period too that South Africa, one of England's most recent 'cricketing colonies', was experiencing major transition in both society and structure. This essay will explore the early development of cricket in South Africa and investigate its link to British imperialism and colonialism. It will highlight how key agencies and individuals were pivotal in the process of securing the early cricketing ties between England and South Africa. The essay will also investigate the growth of cricket's political significance during the latter part of the nineteenth century - a time when within Britain and her colonies, the game came to symbolize the very essence of an exclusive white, Victorian society.