As the squads for next month's cricket world cup in the Caribbean are announced news reaches us of an intriguing public gathering of some of the game's cognoscenti in London on the eve of the tournament. From Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd March the Institute of Commonwealth Studies plays host to the international conference "Cricket: Dawn of a new world – growth, development and commerce" on the premises of Goodenough College at Mecklenburgh Square (nearest tube: Russell Square).
Billed as "a conference exploring the influences driving the development of recreational and professional cricket internationally," the three day event offers, amongst many others, presentations on:
A New England? Cricket and English national identities
Women at the Wicket
Brian Lara: ‘Tradition and the individual talent’ or the ‘me/we’ problem?
Curry-fication of Cricket and the Post-Colonial Game as a Spectacle in South Asia
From Kerry Packer to the Sky Monopoly: Cricket and the Media, 1977-2007
Cricket and Global Warming: The impact of climate change on the global gameFriday looks to have the most appealing overall programme, opening with talks on gender, race and ethnicity in cricket followed by a session on playing issues presided over by the chairman of the England Test selectors, David Graveney. In the afternoon, speakers including Test Match Special's Christopher Martin-Jenkins discuss "the rise of cricket as television" and the afternoon ends with a reception marking the launch of a new book, "Cricket, Race and the 2007 World Cup".
Tickets are £65 per day, or £160 for all three days (£40 and £95 respectively for students) and include "a copy of your conference pack, lunch and coffee/tea breaks, and invitations to the evening receptions taking place during the conference." A registration form and further details can be found here. Registration closes on Wednesday 28th February.
Picture of cricket enthusiasts at a 2003 Flickr meetup via Ayres no graces Flickr stream.