This week it’s the history of Indian cricket with Dr Prashant Kidambi of the University of Leicester. Prashant specialises in the history of India during British rule and has written extensively on the melting pot of India, Bombay. His latest article, ‘The Petition as Event: Colonial Bombay, circa 1889–1914′ was published in Modern Asian Studies in January 2019.
But the discussion focussed on Prashant’s latest book, Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire, which tells the story of the first All-India team to visit Britain in 1911 and much, much more. Prashant talks about the history of Indian cricket in the nineteenth century and the background to the tour, as well as highlighting the role of its captain, Bhupinder Singh, and its star bowler, Palwankar Baloo.
Geoff goes fishing for compliments (and gets them!) in talking about how his research overlaps with Prashant’s, particularly in the way in which cricket tours developed as important political, social and diplomatic events in the Edwardian period. Listeners might want to listen to Rich Parry’s episode for more discussion of the South Arican angle.
Prashant also questions the idea of the Edwardian Golden Age of cricket. Was it really a Golden Age? And if so, for who? How much is the Golden Age a nostalgia-tinged myth?
Finally we round off by discussing the BSSH’s virtual conference where Prashant will be our keynote speaker. Keep an eye on the BSSH website or Twitter account for more details.
Dr Prashant is Kidambi is Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester where he is based in the Centre for Urban Studies. In 2007 he published The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay and is the author of numerous articles on the history of colonial India. His latest book, Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire, was published by OUP in 2019.
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).