There is a perennial tension between a sports-player’s loyalty to their club or their country. These tensions, however, have reached a point at which – as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of sociology puts it – ‘questions are increasingly being asked … about the future of the relationship between nationalism and sport’. Further evidence of the increasingly global nature of sport is offered in the changes sweeping through international cricket. Cricket is one of the team-sports where players have been far better rewarded for international appearances rather than for the ‘day-job’. All that, though may be changing with the introduction of international club competitions. One West Indian cricketer articulates this issue very well: ‘Dwayne Bravo said that if asked to choose between country and club, he would reflect first on the money on offer on either table’. Other leading players, when asked for their views spoke of mortgages, safeguarding their future and ‘staying comfortable’ for the rest of their lives. Jim Sillars famously felt that the Scots were 90 minute patriots, seems like players on the pitch increasongly don’t even feel that degree of national pride. Will national identities be reduced to consumer labels in an increasingly commoditised and corporate world? I wouldn’t bet against it though, as McCrone and others have shown, even national labels have an effect.
Click here for the story that prompted this: http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/current/story/428849.html