Development through Sport: The ‘Indianisation’ of Cricket and its Potential for Development
Cricket was introduced to India through British colonialism in the 18th Century, and became cemented in Indian culture and identity following independence in 1947. More recently, processes of globalisation have seen cricket at the elite level in India emerge as a source of immense wealth which, in turn, has led to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gaining unprecedented control of the global cricketing landscape. Concurrent with this so-called ‘Indianisation’ of global cricket has been the increased attention given to the concept of ‘development through sport’ in international development literature. Within this literature, however, there has been little discussion of the implementation of ‘development through sport’ initiatives in India. It is argued here that the extraordinary levels of wealth, global administrative power, and global television exposure currently attached to cricket in India, coupled with cricket’s status as one of the most coalescing features of Indian culture, presents it as a potentially powerful tool for development. As such, this thesis explores emergent themes from the ‘development through sport’ literature, and those more established within development theory, in the context of development initiatives in India which explicitly use cricket for wider social purposes. Drawing upon key informant interviews, focus groups, and content analysis, it examines how and why cricket is being used in two community level initiatives, the Parivartan Programme and ‘Youth against AIDS’, both of which operate within one of Mumbai’s most underdeveloped municipal wards, as well as the more holistic interventions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its commercial partners. In doing so, this thesis offers a critical assessment of the motivation and overall efficacy of the use of cricket in development in India, from which conclusions as to its future implementation are drawn.
Advisor: Binns, Tony
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Development; Sport; Development through Sport; Cricket; India
Research Type: Thesis