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Close of Play
William H. Walcott

Black Rose Books

Regular price $30.00

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Close of Play: President, Prince, and Cricket

William H. Walcott


In this allegorical excursion, William Walcott explores the intersections between United States politics and the game of cricket in a book reminiscent of C. L. R. James’s classic Beyond a Boundary. In Close of Play, Walcott highlights the careers of former US president Barack Obama and the Trinidadian cricket and cultural phenom Brian Lara—one of the greatest batsmen of all time, who Obama once called “the Michael Jordan of cricket.” Readers are invited to explore the parallel poetics of politics and sport through the life and words of these luminaries, both of whom promised to deliver far-reaching social change yet found themselves “on the back foot.”

In his analysis, Walcott also delves into matters of Caribbean and American identity, political leadership, oratory, and the blending of cricket vocabulary into political commentary. He also challenges us to understand the sociological links between international sport, socio-economic inequality, and race politics. This book is a fascinating journey into the world of global sociopolitical life and the curiosities of language embedded in cricket and political play, both of which constitute enormous sectors within a multibillion dollar “sticky wicket” of transnational capitalism.

William H. Walcott is professor of liberal studies at Humber College, in Toronto.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Dr. Perry Mars
  • Introduction: Beyond the Mesopotamian Mirage
  • Exploratory Sociological Foundation
  • Bowling Beyond the Mesopotamian Mirage
  • Brian Lara and the Periphery of Politics
  • Strengthening the Lara-Obama Similarities
  • Simply Cricket, Lovely Cricket, for Lords, Knights, Ladies, Gentlemen, and More
  • Cricket, Courts, and Climate Change
  • Brian Lara on the Boundary of Respectability
  • Brian Lara on a Sticky Wicket
  • Caribbean Cricketing Links
  • Brian Lara Batting on the Road To Captaincy
  • The Core of Brian Lara's Captaincy
  • Still on a Sticky Wicket
  • Well Outside the Line
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary

2020; 352 pages

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