The World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and India has drawn much media interest - as much for off-the-field activities as on the field. You may be interested in contacting DOMINIC MALCOLM from Leicester University's Centre for Research into Sport and Society for his views on the subject.
His research areas include:
cricket and race,
cricket and nationality,
cricket and spectator violence.
War minus the Shooting
The India-Pakistan game at Old Trafford highlights the significance of sport in international relations. It offers the one of the only areas where countries can are pitted against eachother in non-violent competition.
It also highlights how cricket remains "the game of Empire". No other sport attracts spectators from British minority ethnic groups to the same extent.
The need for perspective
Firstly, compared to football disorder, past events at cricket matches in this country have all been relatively minor.
Secondly, the problem of pitch invasions is a long standing one. Pitch invasions at the end of the 1983 World Cup Final ended in bodily harm for the umpires and an injury to West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding.
Reflecting on this, former England Captain, Tony Greig said, "They've got no option now. Barbed wire fences are the only answer".
Thirdly, it is perhaps unfair to stigmatise Pakistan and Indian supporters, as many in the media have done, as the most violent.
The worst cricket disorder in this country has always involved England supporters:
England vs Pakistan at Edgbaston in 1987 and at Headingley in 1996.
Also in the County game:
At Headingley there have been incidents involving Yorkshire supporters and fans from Northampton, Middlesex and, of course, Lancashire.
Last season, a fight involving around 40 people (some of whom were reputed to be known football hooligans) took place at a nearby pub after Leicester's Nat-West Trophy victory over Warwickshire in July and there was trouble at the subsequent semi final between Leicestershire and Derbyshire supporters.
Dominic Malcolm, Centre for Research into Sport and Society, University of Leicester (telephone 0116 252 5933, Fax: 0116 252 5720, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.le. ac.uk/crss/.
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