Cricket as a vocation: A study of the development and contemporary structure of the occupation and career patterns of the cricketer.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:55 by C. C. P. Brookes
This thesis takes the form of an analysis of the development over the last five hundred years of two particular features of the structure of cricket, it's organisation and the occupational group which has come to be based on the game. The analysis is divided into five relatively distinct sections. It begins with an analysis of the probable nature of folk-cricket and of the social context in which the many variations of the games would have been played. The development of the game is considered in terms of four stages: (i) ca. 1660 to 1830, when the folk-game in one or more of its forms was taken up by members of the aristocracy and gentry, and playing techniques, rules and the overall organisation of the game became elaborated and more highly formalised. During this stage, the game assumed an importance above all as a means of acting out prestige rival ries within the leisured elite. At the same time, the career as professional began to emerge under the patronage of this elite. (ii) ca. 1850 to ca. 1870, when the patronage provided by members of the aristocracy and gentry ceased, and teams of independent professionals, dependent upon spectator support, toured the country. (iii) ca. 1870 to ca. 1945, when the game became highly formalised and regularised, based on the county as a unit of organisation and identification, and when it developed a high degree of autonomy, organisationally, economically, and in terms of the recruitment of players - full-time amateurs as well as full-time professionals. (iv) post 1945, when the amateur-professional dichotomy collapsed and decreasing srectator support led to concern about the survival- potential of cricket as a spectator-spectator employing a large number of players.