Sport and Leisure History Seminar 2019-20 #6 Allister Webb

The role of history in contemporary sporting events – A case study of the bidding process for major cricket matches in England and Wales

Monday March 23rd 2020

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the convenors for the British Society of Sports History-sponsored Sport & Leisure History seminar series at the Institute of Historical Research. And this term we have a diverse range of speakers and subjects to pique the interest of the historically inclined.

For 2019-20 we’ve tweaked the format of the seminar to make it snappier! Papers will be 30-40 minutes long with the remaining part of the hour available for questions from the floor. We’ll also be starting later, at 6 o’clock, to make it easier for those who work regular hours to get along to the venue.

Headingley before the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup

Coronavirus permitting (so look out for future announcements) our next paper will be given by Allister Webb of Manchester Metropolitan University on the historical context to the arrangements for major cricket matches in the UK. Here’s the abstract in full:-

The growth of interest in the battle to stage high-profile sports events reflects both the efforts, often made by public bodies, to secure them and the difference between the claims made in their favour and the realities that result. Yet, the success in recent times of popular local campaigns in resisting and halting bids for some major events raises important questions about the extent to which these events are valued by the people who are expected to live with them. Furthermore, the development of new and, to some, unwelcome and unnecessary formats, raises the possibility that what may be seen as traditional ideas of identity in relation to sport, and even the very structure of the game as we know it, are at risk of being lost.

What is often absent from the discussion of these issues is an understanding of the place of history in this process. This paper will use the cases of two cities, Cardiff and Leeds, to argue that history is too often overlooked within these debates and events have also fed into broader narratives of identity. It will also discuss the impact of globalizing tendencies on cricket to date, suggesting that, while it is too early to know how the Hundred competition will impact on English cricket, the effects of previous globalizing tendencies have perhaps been overstated.

Headingley during the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup

Future speakers for the 2019-20 academic year are as follows:-

27th Apr 2020 Geoff Swallow (Manchester Metropolitan University)

The Man Who Wasn’t There: The Jarvis-Nuttal ‘Match’ of 1901 as a Space of Modernity

8th June 2020 Dr Clare Tebbutt (Trinity College, Dublin)

‘That Man-Woman Problem’: Grappling with Questions of Sex Differentiation in 1930s Women’s Sport, and their Resonance Today

This is only the one of a number of series of stimulating talks to be held at the IHR across a range of disciplines. For up to date details of seminars forthcoming in 2019 go to the IHR’s website. The Sport & Leisure talks take place in the John S Cohen Room on the second floor – doors open from 17:45 and the seminar will start promptly at 18.00. The seminars are open to academics and the general public; I hope to see you there.

Academia cricket History London Sport

f1insburyparker View All →

Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).

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