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Amateurism and Identity in England: How being ‘competitive’ became the point of distinction between northern and southern cricket.

By Duncan Stone


It would appear that Darwin was onto something when he paraphrased Herbert Spencer’s “survival of the fittest”, to summarise his theory of evolution via competition. The competitive instincts in humans do not get any stronger or vital in the context of competing for food, and ultimately the species survival. The human race’s ability to comprehend and thus compete better than any other species has ensured our place at the top of the food chain

Topics: BF, GN
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  1. A History of County Cricket: Surrey, 161 (italics added). Fred Trueman was a Yorkshire fast bowler, notorious for his pace and hostility.
  2. (1947). A History of Cricket by doi
  3. A Social History of English Cricket,
  4. Amateurism’ as a Sociological Problem, doi
  5. (1998). Anyone But England: An Outsider Looks at English Cricket.
  6. Cricket and Englishness: The Batsman as doi
  7. Cricket: A History, p. 116. Roland Bowen has argued that this style of competitive cricket was adopted in the north as a deliberate move away from the false morality he believed was being woven into the cricketing ethos of the south..
  8. (1947). Cricket’s regional identities: the development of cricket and identity doi
  9. (2009). Ermott Robinson reportedly said to Cardus; “Ah reckon, Mr. Cardus th’as invented me.” Cited in
  10. Heroes of the North: Sport and the Shaping of Regional Identity’, 146 (italics added).
  11. in the simplest sense, saw ‘games’ (the term ‘sport’ is a Victorian phenomena) as providing pleasure, competition and beauty.
  12. The Weekend Cricketer,

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