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Mike Marqusee: A level playing field? Global sport in the neoliberal age

The idea of sports competition as a mirror or metaphor for capitalist competition is misconceived.

Read more by Mike Marqusee HERE. Click for more on sport and capitalism, the soccer World Cup and cricket.

By Mike Marqusee

June 2, 2014 -- Red Pepper, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Mike Marqusee's permission -- One of the hallmarks of the neoliberal age has been the exponential expansion of commercial spectator sport -- in its economic value, political role and cultural presence. All of which will be thrown into high relief during the coming World Cup in Brazil.

Mike Marqusee: Behind cricket's latest scandal -- Pakistan cricket and its discontents

By Mike Marqusee

September 3, 2010 -- MikeMarqusee.com -- On top of floods, war, bombs, a corrupt and incompetent government with a much feared military in the wings, the long-suffering people of Pakistan have now been betrayed, once again, by their cricketers. Most will not be shocked or will profess not to be shocked: over the last 15 years there has been a steady erosion of faith in Pakistan cricket, which has come to be held in the same low esteem as many of the country’s other institutions. It’s one of the reasons cited, along with exorbitant ticket prices, for the low turn-out from the Pakistani diaspora at this summer’s test matches in England.

But while people in and from Pakistan may not be shocked they are bitterly aggrieved. And rightly so. The antics of the three players accused of spot-fixing in the Lord’s test have destroyed the little portion of relief cricket affords for millions coping with trying conditions.

Capitalism and sport: Sports for a few

Sachin Tendulkar (pictured) and other stars learnt their cricket in the compounds of their buildings or in lanes and alleys. But even these spaces are now beyond the reach of the common people.

By Vidyadhar Date

The competitive frenzy for winning in sports has been fuelled by aggressive marketing. Together they ensure that while a minority is trained with superlative sports facilities, the majority is deprived of even basic amenities to play and breathe fresh air. In India, market forces have pampered cricket while harming all other games in the process.

India won just three medals at the recent Beijing Olympics, though it did better than in the past. This is seen as a breakthrough by our ruling class,  which now wants the nation to gear up for further success at the London Olympics in 2012.

Cricket, excess and market mania

By Srinivasan Ramani

The Indian Premier League is seen as a bonanza for cricket viewers, players and corporate owners, but hidden behind the glitz is the fact that it represents a distorted form of commodity and consumer excess. The Indian Premier League (IPL), a corporate-driven tournament featuring a set of city teams playing Twenty20 cricket, has made news with a multimillion dollar player auction. Players from various cricket-playing nations were ``bought'' and ``sold'' through bids made by the corporate-owned teams (the franchisees).

Cricket in India has become the only sport that has captured widespread mass and media attention. The popularity of the sport has increased in leaps and bounds, and the way the sport has been managed and administered has reflected the dominant mode of economic transactions in the country.

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