Landscape, Players and Politics
This chapter sets the scene for the rest of the book, situating South Africa’s cricketing development into the overall sweep of South African social, political and economic history, demonstrating how cricket was shaped by society and society by cricket. By linking cricket through the key themes of landscape, players and politics, it explains the evolution of the Union of South Africa between 1910 and 1971. Cricket was a barometer of South African society as SA cricketers represented their specific interest groups based on race, ethnicity, class and gender. This chapter analyses the struggles between fragmentation and unity at imperial, national and local level, as South Africa’s racial structures ended in ostracism and isolation, but despite this black cricket provided hope for an ultimately better future.