Latest book release: From Azeem to Ashes: English cricket’s struggle with race and class

Posted on April 5, 2024

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September 2020. Cricket is in the headlines for the first time since the 2005 Ashes. But the focus is racism not runs or wickets. Azeem Rafiq’s treatment has ignited fierce debate about prejudice and class. From Azeem to Ashes charts the last, miserable days of Joe Root’s captaincy in early 2022 through to the T20 World Cup victory before the breathless Bazball Ashes finale at the Oval. The book never ducks uncomfortable questions posed by the Rafiq affair. Why do England’s cricket teams – men’s and women’s – look so unlike the nation they represent? How can grassroots participation be developed and preserved? In the franchise-driven, global circus of modern cricket, what place is there for Tests – or even 50-over games? A book written for cricket lovers by a cricket lover, with voices from clubs to the boardroom to the commentary box, Azeem to Ashes rejects sentimentality, taking a hard-nosed – but affectionate and humorous – look at the game, its future and how it can square up to the tricky questions being asked of it.


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