chapter  3
32 Pages

West Indian Cricket as Cultural Resistance

Within the last decade the West Indies have been successful in putting together the most awesome cricket team in the world. Yet this cultural pastime is hardly indigenous to the region. Indeed, it remains one of the most potent reminders of British colonialism that, for most of the islands, spanned nearly two centuries. When one considers that most of the islands in the British West Indies are now politically independent, and are continuing to free themselves of the various economic, cultural and political vestiges of colonialism, one can legitimately ask, why does cricket continue to excite the fascination of West Indians of all races, ethnic groups, and economic levels in all parts of the world. In seeking to account for this seeming contradiction, it is argued that the game’s1 popularity is very much a result of the fact that it is able to capture and reflect some of the most fundamental values in West Indian society and, in the process, has been transformed into a mechanism for resistance against oppression. Consequently, it satisfies a number of needs and is able to transcend the many fissures that characterize this group of islands.