Tom Shaw is an award winning photographer based in London and his England’s Black Cricketers exhibition is currently on display at Lord’s.
Shaw, an award-winning sports photographer, began shooting during the pandemic. Shocked to learn that only 21 black cricketers had ever represented England in the sport, he determined to find a way to honour them, and with the help of Mark Butcher, set about tracking them down.
“This project is a celebration of them and their achievements,” says Shaw, “and will hopefully act as an inspiration to young black cricketers.”
These portraits of the black men and women to represent England at cricket are a celebration of those players, of their performances, of the moments of cricketing history they have given us. We see Norman Cowans and remember his match-winning 6-77 against Australia at the MCG. We look into Devon Malcolm’s eyes and know that we’re facing the same stare that the South African batters of 1994 faced, as he blew them away at The Oval.
21 Black cricketers in 145 years. I’m grateful for the exhibition but saddened by the circumstances behind it.