The travelling female athlete : cricket, migration and globalisation.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study explores the experiences of female athletes from New Zealand and Australia who migrate temporarily to play cricket in England. It locates the migration network of female cricket within the modern global sport space and challenges the overall perception of what the typical global athlete is today.
The game of cricket has long been regarded as the ‘gentleman’s’ game and originated in England as an aristocratic sport, a symbol of wealth and hierarchy among the British elite. It has diffused into many Commonwealth countries and has developed into a game that is played by both sexes. This study is situated within the anthropology of sport and includes aspects of culture, identity, and gender in the globalised world we live in today. It offers a unique perspective because the research is conducted by a migrant female cricketer in the field and combines ethnographic and auto-ethnographic material.
Attention to the migration of female athletes has been minimal but research into this area of the sporting world raises a number of broader questions relating to sporting migration, personal/national identity, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, diaspora, the gender divide in sport and globalisation. This study summarises some of the key literature relating to globalisation, sports migration, identity and gender, applying it anthropologically to the experiences of the migrant female cricketer.
The main finding is the movement of female cricketers from country to country is not influenced by the commodification of modern sport; instead the athletes are motivated by social and personal factors, as opposed to the material (monetary) ones that now apparently dominates contemporary sport. Movement reflects a basic migratory network that has developed between New Zealand, Australia and England, influenced by seasonal migration, and the social, cultural and historical connections between the countries. The research offers a contrasting perspective on current sporting migration literature by sharing the experiences of female athletes who migrate for sport and locating the findings within larger analytical concepts.