CBSE - IX - History - History and Sport: The Story of Cricket
Why did the British encourage team sports?
Team sports was seen as an organised way of teaching English youngsters discipline, the significance of honouring hierarchy and the skills, the codes of honour and the leadership qualities required to build and run a colonial empire. The British imperialists justified their colonialism by viewing it as an act of unselfish social service through which the ‘backward societies’ of Africa and Asia could be ‘civilized’. Cricket helped the imperialists in confirming this convenient self-image, by glorifying the amateur ideal of ‘cricket not for victory but for the spirit of fair play’.
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