The Cricket Match

Good Essays
“The Cricket Match”

Samuel Selvon’s short story, “The Cricket Match” explores the subtle racial tensions amongst West Indian immigrants living in England whilst working with English counterparts. Selvon sets his narrative in a tyre factory in Chiswick, England. Most likely, the timeline in which this story occurs is somewhere in the mid 1950’s when England were still colonists of most of the English speaking Caribbean islands. The main idea behind Selvon’s tale lies with Algernon the protagonist, whose desire to fabricate his knowledge of cricket, so as to simultaneously impress but show disdain towards the Englishmen around him backfires because it is this self-proclaimed knowledge which places him into conflict. Selvon also generates additional incidents which arise from the focal conflict, throughout the course of his story. These incidents, in addition to the vernacular which Selvon utilizes, enhance the story and add a touch of comic relief for the readers. The main conflict of this narrative is Algernon’s penchant for exaggerating his comprehension of, and ability at, the game: “That is the way to play the game… That is cricket, lovely cricket.” when actually, he did not like cricket. However Algernon becomes overjoyed that the West Indian cricket team are dominating England in some aspect, because, he displays slighted feelings towards the English people at the beginning of the story as seen in paragraph four, lines three – five: ‘…it have some tests that don’t like the game at all, and among them was Algernon. But he see a chance to give the Nordics tone…’ This serves to illustrate his apparent dislike for English people, as well as the fact that he wants to create a façade about himself. Interestingly though, the conflict begins to heighten when Charles, an Englishman and a cricketer, approaches Algernon and invites him to play in a ‘friendly’ cricket match. Algernon is suddenly facing a dilemma. Either he accepts Charles’ challenge and

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