During the 20th century, when British colonial forces left the subcontinent and Commonwealth states regained their independence, there were few aspects of British rule that the regions were inclined to keep. There was however one pastime of British culture that remained: cricket.

The passion for this particular British export has grown to become a national sport in both India and Pakistan and continues to thrive within the region today. It is also the favourite game amongst British South Asian communities, with research showing that in the UK, people of South Asian heritage are up to six times more likely to play cricket than their white counterparts.

Chaired by Huw Turbervill, our panel includes acclaimed sports writers, Rob Bagchi and Duncan Hamilton, and journalist, Boyd Tonkin. This event will step into the history of cricket in South Asia and explore how it has captivated the masses to become embedded in the cultural imagination of the subcontinent. In this part of the world, passions run deep and cricket is more than just a game.

About The Speakers

Rob Bagchi

Rob Bagchi was born and brought up in Wakefield, worked for Sportspages in Manchester and London for a decade, moved to the sports desk at the Guardian for 11 years and has been writing on cricket and football for The Daily Telegraph since 2013. He has co-written four books and contributes to The Cricketer.

Duncan Hamilton

Duncan Hamilton is a journalist. Like C. P. Snow, he regards drinking tea while watching a game of cricket as one of life’s great pleasures. His previous cricket books include Harold Larwood: The Authorised Biography, which, like Provided You Don’t Kiss Me, his memoir of Brian Clough, was William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and A Last English Summer. His book about Neville Cardus, The Great Romantic, will appear shortly.

Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is an award-winning journalist who currently writes on literature and culture for The Financial Times, The Economist, Newsweek and The Spectator. He was previously Literary Editor and then Senior Writer at The Independent, where he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and judged the award for 15 years. He chaired the jury of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and now serves as the prize’s Special Adviser.

About The Chair

Huw Turbervill

Huw Turbervill is managing editor of The Cricketer magazine (and writer) after 15 years on Telegraph Sport. He has also written on cricket for the Daily Express, Daily Mail, East Anglian Daily Times and the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. He is the author of The Toughest Tour: The Ashes Away Series Since the War.