Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The cricket world cup: over and out

There is a good article by historian Michael Collins on the failings of this year's World Cup on the Open Democracy website. It is worth reading it all, but this is from his conclusion:

'...great sport, perhaps like great art, often gains its energy from contradictions in society at large. More prosaically, sport is an important lens through which to view the history of any society. Cricket in particular has provided a stage for men of character (they have so far always been men) to act out dramas that resonated with the people of their day. Crucially, the significant characters of cricket's past - those who captured the popular imagination, beyond the confines of the aficionado - were connected to their social environments. They retained something of the "amateur" as opposed to the "professional".

If there are very few genuinely interesting personalities left in today's game, a great part of the reason is the effect of the cult of "professionalism". At the top level, today's cricketers more than ever exist in a bubble of endless tours, fitness regimes and product endorsements, entirely removed from the social lives of the people who watch them play. I suggest that it is this, more than other immediate causes, which accounts for the failure of the 2007 world cup.'

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