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West Indies Cricket: Our Story

Discover the story of the most popular sport in the West Indies and how it has impacted Caribbean culture.

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Explore WI cricket and its rise from colonial import to national pastime

On this four-week course, you’ll learn how cricket captured the imagination of the West Indian people and why it remains integral to Caribbean culture today.

Investigate how the colonisation of the West Indies led to a nation’s passion for cricket

You’ll discover how cricket was introduced to the islands through the colonisation of the West Indies. You’ll analyse what cricket looked like prior to 1928 and be able to explain how the sport has evolved into the modern game fans recognise today.

Discover WI cricket legends and learn how they helped shape a national identity

You will encounter some of the greatest cricketers of all time, like George Headley, and follow his journey to become the first international WI cricket star.

Using firsthand accounts, you’ll evaluate how the superstar status of cricketers from this era contributed to regional integration and nationalism. You’ll discover how WI cricketers made their mark on the world stage and helped place the team in a global context. With this knowledge, you will be able to track trends in WI cricket performance in relation to key historical moments.

Examine the rise in popularity of women’s cricket and cricket’s legacy in Caribbean culture

Almost 50 years after their male counterparts played their first test match, the West Indies Women’s Cricket team took centre stage.

The Windies have since made a name for themselves internationally. You’ll examine how the team emerged and explore their impressive track record over the years.

Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll understand how cricket became the most popular sport in the West Indies. You’ll be able to articulate the relationship between cricket and the culture, politics, and economy of the islands and appreciate the rich legacy of Caribbean cricket.


  • Week 1

    Colonization, Cane and Cricket

    • Welcome to the Course

      Welcome to West Indies Cricket: Our Story

    • West Indies Mosaic

      Locate the islands of the former British colony, their distance from each other and the pathway from Europe to the West Indies.

    • Discussion and Engagement

      Check up on existing information that participants had or new information they may have learned.

    • Quiz: Week 1

      This five-item multiple choice quiz tests recall and comprehension of information from week 1.

  • Week 2

    Rise of WI Cricket Superstars, Regionalism and Nationalism

    • Rise of WI Superstars

      This lesson describes the plays of Headley and other cricket greats; Everton Weeks, Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott who revolutionized the game and built confidence in the team's ability to compete in international tours and win.

    • WI cricket during the 1950s

      This section introduces cricket stalwarts who contributed to cricket being a region-defining sport in the West Indies post 1950's.

    • Reflection and Engagement

      Respond to the prompt below. How has cricket contributed to regional integration and nationalism?

    • Looking Back, Looking Ahead

      This section provides a Summary of Week 2 and outlines what to expect in week 3.

    • Quiz 2: Week 2

      This is a Cloze quiz on Week 2 content.

  • Week 3

    Trends in WI Cricket: Calypso Cricketers

    • West Indies Cricket Changes Hands

      This mini-lesson describes the politics of the Caribbean in the 1970s and its impact on cricket planning and plays.

    • Impact of politics on cricket in the Caribbean

      Respond to a prompt question on mini-lesson 1:

    • Debate: West Indies cricket style made them better suited for One Day Internationals.

      Present arguments to support and/or refute this statement. Respond to at least one participant whose views are like or different from yours.

    • Commercialization of West Indies Cricket

      Shift from playing in all white to donning coloured cricket gears goes beyond aesthetics. It signals a new trend in WI cricket-monetizing the game.

    • Post 1995 Decline

      The events and factors leading to a decline in WI cricket performance after 1995.

    • Select a Metaphor

      What object or phrase comes to mind when you read about West Indies' cricket journey from 1950-1995?

    • Quiz 3: Week 3

      This is a short quiz that tests Week 3 content

  • Week 4

    Women's Cricket, Culture and the Caribbean

    • Looking Back: Looking Ahead

      Recap of the course and what to expect in Final week.

    • West Indies Women Cricket Facts

      If you have been following West Indies cricket, you may know at least one fact about the team's composition, it's performance in international competition or other interesting information.

    • Preserving West Indies' Cricket legacy

      This section is a visual essay of the monuments, art, literature and other artifacts to immortalize West Indies cricket.

    • West Indies Cricket Artforms

      This learning activity is intended to stimulate discussion on immortalizing cricket greats and promoting the creative works that cricket generates.

    • Impact of Cricket on Caribbean Culture

      This articles highlights how cricket connects to cultural expressions such as music and literature in the Caribbean.

    • Connection: How Similar or Different is your Cricket Culture to that of the West Indies

      This activity prompts you to reflect on your country's or region's cricket culture and see how it is similar to and different from the cricket culture of the West Indies.

    • Quiz 4: Week 4

      Take a five item multiple choice quiz on Week's 4 Content.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain trends in WI cricket by referencing key occurences
  • Describe the events that led to George Headley becoming the first regional and international WI Cricket superstar
  • Analyze the factors that led to women’s participation and contribution to WI cricket
  • Articulate the relationship between West Indies cricket and culture
  • Explain the factors that led to East Indian presence and contribution to WI test cricket
  • Describe the factors that led to West Indies cricket team gaining test status in 1928

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in cricket and its worldwide history.

Whether you’re a sports journalist, a cricket player, or a cricket enthusiast, this course is ideal if you want to appreciate cricket in a wider cultural context.

What software or tools do you need?

No specific tools or software is required.

Who will you learn with?

Akshai Mansingh is the Dean of the Faculty of Sport at the University of the West Indies. He has been a cricket analyst for over twenty five years.

Who developed the course?

The University of the West Indies

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the Caribbean. Times Higher Education (THE), has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2021. The UWI is currently 18th in THE Latin America Rankings 2020 and also ranked Top 100 in THE Golden Age University Rankings 2020 and Top 600 in THE Impact Rankings 2020. The UWI is the only Caribbean university to make these prestigious lists.

  • Established

  • Location

    The West Indies

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