INDIAN-CARIBBEAN TEST CRICKETERS AND THE QUEST FOR IDENTITYProduct no.: HP171
If West Indies Test cricket betrays divisive values of race, class and colour inherited from a colonial history of plantation slavery and indenture, it also reflects a paradoxical power of resistance to this colonial legacy. In a region well known for such divisiveness, Indian-Caribbean Test Cricketers and the Quest for Identity considers cricket’s capacity, at least, in reducing, if not transcending, division through its focus on collective team activity in quest of identity in the quest for identity.
Indian-Caribbean Test Cricketers purrs with the balanced rhythms, fluency and felicity of writing reminiscent of C.L.R. James, and is enriched by anecdote and incident from Test players or commentators, both from home and abroad. The volume also arrives as a timely salute to great days of Test cricket now under mortal siege from the rampant popularity and commercialism of shorter forms of the game.
The careers of all thirty-three Indian-Caribbean Test cricketers who represented West Indies are chronicled up to the end of 2013. Whether it is the epochal West Indies Test victory over England at Lord’s in 1950; Ramadhin’s brilliant haul of seven wickets for 49 runs against England in 1957 at Edgbaston; Solomon’s two miraculous run-outs in 1960 against Australia that spawned the first ever tied Test; Kanhai’s ‘scorched earth’ 77 runs against England at the Oval in 1963; or Chanderpaul’s glorious century off 69 balls against Australia at Bourda in 2003, Indian-Caribbean Test Cricketers has what it takes to inform, entertain or enlighten both cricket fans as well as general readers.
“Cricket literature has so far only spared a fleeting glance at the role of West Indian East Indians. This book unearths the Indian in the cupboard, so to speak, shedding light on the history and presence of a hitherto marginalised group. While Birbalsingh brings academic rigour to this work, his narrative is rich in anecdote and vivid imagery, making this a compelling read.” Vaneisa Baksh, cricket historian
“In this volume cricket becomes an almost magical instrument for Indian-Caribbean Test cricketers not only to forge an identity, but also to leave a unique legacy of achievement. Here are portraits of cricketers both finely drawn and rich in memorable, statistical detail.” Ronald Austin, Former Guyanese Ambassador to China and Consultant to Caricom
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