Cricket started in Germany back in 1858 when a group of individuals from England and the US founded the first German cricket club in Berlin. German cricket limped on through the following century, with occasional German players’ visits to England and smaller foreign teams touring Germany. However, in recent past, the popularity of the game has rocketed due to the influx of refugees and immigrants from cricket-fanatic countries like Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. Believe it or not, Germany is now the strongest of ICC European Associate Member sides!
German Cricket is organised into various regions, each of which has its own league. The winner of the league plays for the national championship – the Bundesliga. The structure is T20 and 50 over – no four-day ‘County Championship’ style competition as of yet!
The new ICC ranking system has ignited competition between associate members, increasing the number of matches taking place as these nations strive towards the ultimate goal of T20 World Cup qualification. These games have ICC World T20 Ranking points at stake!
Germany is currently ranked 31st in the ICC T20 Rankings and is the fastest-growing cricket nation in Europe. Their squad contains current first-class cricketers in Dieter Klein (Leicestershire CCC) and Michael Richardson (Durham CCC) alongside former Afghanistan international Izatullah Dawlatzai – giving them the potential to upset some more experienced nations!
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The ICC is very keen to promote cricket in associate nations, to enable those who love the game to have access to high levels of competition wherever they may be, and to expand the game’s footprint across the untapped European market. Cricket can also be a way of integrating migrants into the local community. As an example, according to the United Nations’ Refugees statistics up to 2016, Germany had a minimum of 46,292 registered Afghan refugees. With cricket’s popularity in Afghanistan, there is a significant target market right there!
According to Campbell Jamieson, General Manager, Commercial at the ICC:
“Migrant population from cricket playing countries is contributing to the growth of the game in Germany. And if you mix that with local players, you then have inclusive growth. The migration of people from South Asia aid the growth and we are fortunate in this case”.
“Cricket is expanding. A really good example of that is Germany where in the last five years we have gone from 50 cricket teams to 500 teams; we are struggling to keep up with the infrastructure and the governance of the sport in that country. We need to ensure that cricketers in that country always get to play the sport they love”.
A big day out for Associate Member cricket – Spain vs Germany
The European international cricket season starts on 8th of March with what promises to be a tightly-contested pair of T20 internationals between Spain – currently ranked 44th in the ICC T20 rankings – and Germany, at the magnificent Desert Springs cricket facility in Spain. Admission is free for spectators – so come and enjoy it!
Source: Cricket Germany Twitter
World Class Willow – supporting Associate Nation Cricket
World Class Willow (WCW) provides the finest professional-grade cricket bats and protective equipment to international cricketers of all nations. WCW is proud to support emerging cricketing nations such as Germany and Spain. Off the back of successful forays into the US and Caribbean markets, with several CPL players, in particular, making their mark with WCW bats, we are proud to support Associate Nations large and small with world class cricketing equipment!