This project's objective is to take a look at American society and the changes it has undergone and will undergo through the
prism of cricket.

Cricket? In America? Usually the conjunction of those two words is greeted with a fair amount of disbelief. Most Americans, if they are aware of cricket at all, think of it as a long drawn out esoteric pastime popular with South Asians and the Limeys. Even cricket fans in the Old World are often unaware of the long and proud cricketing history that America has or how the game was a major spectator sport in the 19th Century, retaining pockets of interest right up until World War One. Many are also oblivious to the revival that the sport has undergone in the States since the 1970s, not to mention the unique difficulties it faces in establishing a bridgehead in the US sporting mainstream.

During the course of this project we will examine that revival and trace the cultural forces that are underpinning it - the silent Asian migration of the last 20 years, the Anglophilia of the East Coast, and the gradual reintegration of the US into world sport that is an inevitable by-product of globalisation and technology.

We meet the men (and women) at the helm of the US cricketing revival: The ex gang members playing the sport in South Central Los Angeles, the Bronx woman teaching it a New York high school, the dreamers who have attempted to promote their sport via a succession of hare-brained schemes, the idealists keeping the cricket flag flying in the most unlikely of backwaters and the well-meaning amateurs in charge of the national governing body.

And the 'odyssey'? Homer's epic tells the story of a war hero's long spiritual journey from the battlefield to civilization. After Iraq and the War On Terror years America's moral stature is diminished, yet once more upon an American odyssey is in motion. It is clear that in the absence of a moral renewal this odyssey is destined to fail. This leads one to posit the question, 'where will the roots of such a renewal be found?' Certainly not at the centre, the usual suspects of law, government and religion are all deeply tarnished. Thus one is forced to the margins, to an outsider community for inspiration.

Such a community would have to include the following: a history as long as the nation itself, a moral code no (matter how oblique), an egalitarianism that cuts across the psycho-geographical spectrum, a complete ignorance of its wider historical role. Bizarrely enough, there does indeed exist a community fulfilling all of these criteria. Could the American cricket community provide the moral markers to define a new America? This is an American Cricket Odyssey - a search for civilization!
An American Cricket Odyssey

A human odyssey thru the american cricket



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