University of Leicester
2024PanesarAPhD.pdf (1.66 MB)

Beyond the Boundary: British South Asian Cricket and Community in England, c. 1960-Present

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posted on 2024-06-20, 10:17 authored by Amerdeep S. Panesar

The thesis is a history of recreational cricket among South Asian migrants in England from 1960 to the present. The thesis is underpinned by oral testimonies from various individuals with lived experience of British Asian cricket. The oral histories were conducted personally and highlight the extraordinary hidden history of English cricket. The thesis contributes to the historiography of both English cricket/sport and post-war British social history by challenging the existing notions that British Asian cricket is inextricably linked to the sub-continent. The thesis argues that the origins of British Asian cricket were driven by sociability, rather than long distance nationalism as the sport became a site for South Asian diaspora communities to develop local networks in a new country. Secondly, the thesis points out that the hegemonic structures of English cricket created a set of conditions that ultimately caused British Asians to be excluded. This occurred in a variety of ways, either through league rules around the location or pitch standards or with unwritten codes and practices associated with cricket, such as drinking and clubhouse culture. For most of the period under review (1960-present), British Asian cricket had a subaltern-like status which existed outside the scope of English cricket and as such, has remained largely undocumented. Therefore, much of the relationship has been centred on racism and exclusion. While this is important and a big part of the South Asian story, The thesis highlights that the story of British Asian cricket is not solely characterised on those terms. For studies of ethnic minorities, if we look beyond those issues, we can uncover hidden histories of a flourishing game that could have only existed outside English cricket. These insights ultimately highlight how sport offers a window into understanding the wider social history and cultural changes taking place from the 1960s.



Prashant Kidambi

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of History, Politics and International Relations

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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