Malcolm's Reviews > Caught Behind: Race and Politics in Springbok Cricket

Caught Behind by Bruce Murray
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sport-studies

Cricket in apartheid era South Africa was a complex practice – among the white community primarily an English cultural activity (at my bilingual school in the late 1970s my Afrikaaner classmates were notable by the absence from the cricket teams but dominant in the rugby teams). The sport was also strong in parts of those communities labelled by the state as 'coloured' and 'African', and had a wider following in that labelled 'Asian'. Murray and Merrit are among the leading academic historians of South African cricket as apartheid practice – and in this title they give us a rigorously developed argument and informed exploration of the place of cricket in South Africa's history, including new insights into the actions by the state to prevent Basil D'Oliviera (classified by apartheid as a 'Cape coloured') from representing England in its 1968 tour of South Africa – and therefore telling new insights into the growing boycott campaign. The book is proof that there is not a contradiction between scholarly success and ability and readability and accessibility. This is a significant contribution South African history in general as well as to sports history more specifically.

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