Introduction: an English game, a Samoan contest
This Introduction shows how the story of cricket in Samoa allows us to examine issues that resonate far beyond the islands. It first places the local history of cricket’s arrival in Samoa into the context of wider processes of imperial expansion. From this point, it identifies several ongoing debates within imperial and sport history. The chapter shows previous scholarship has invariably neglected places and peoples at the peripheries of empire—and particularly in Oceania. Studies such as this one, therefore, demonstrate the significance of sport in Islanders’ everyday lives—both in the past and in the present. The chapter provides a sketch of Samoa’s geography, politics and socio-cultural structure during the period of study and concludes with a brief overview of the book’s structure.