World’s Northernmost Cricket Ground to Open in Iceland

Iceland Cricket

Iceland Cricket will open the world’s northernmost cricket field this month in Hafnarfjörður. At a latitude of 64.07°N, the field will break the record currently held in Umeå, Sweden (63.84°N) by 25km (15.5mi). It will be officially inaugurated on May 26 by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir. The even will feature an exhibition match between a Prime Minister’s XI, captained by Katrín, and a British Ambassador’s XI, captained by Michael Nevin.

Modern Icelandic cricket was founded by Ragnar Kristinsson, who watched the famous world cup semi-final between Australia and South Africa while on holiday in Cyprus in 1999. The first practice sessions took place at Elliðaárdalur and the first local teams competed in 2000. Today, Iceland has cricket clubs in Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Garðabær, Hafnarfjörður and Seltjarnarnes. Iceland even boasts a national cricket team, which played its first international game last summer, beating Switzerland 330 to 115.

Kit Harris, who runs marketing and advertising for Iceland Cricket, says that Iceland’s cricket history goes much further back. Along with historian Tom Holland, he believes there is evidence that the Viking game “knattleikr,” as described in Egil’s Saga and several other sagas, is the ancestor of the modern game of cricket.

The exhibition match on opening day starts at 1.00pm and is free and open to the public. As is customary at cricket matches, English tea and cakes will be served.

Update May 20, 2019: A previous version of this article stated the cricket ground would be officially inaugurated on May 24 by the President of Iceland. The correct day is May 26, and the inauguration will be led by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Women Are One Third of Board Members at Iceland’s Largest Companies

In 2018, women made up 33.5% of boards of directors in enterprises employing 50 or more persons. This is the first time the proportion of women as board members of large companies has exceeded one third. For comparison, women were 12.7% of boards of directors in 2007 and 9.5% in 1999. The data comes from Statistics Iceland.

The proportion of women as members of boards of directors in enterprises with fewer than 50 persons employed was 25.9% in 2018. Percentages of men vs. women as board members of smaller enterprises have shown little change over the last few years.

women board members Iceland

At the end of 2018, women were 26.2% of chairmen and members of Boards of Directors in Icelandic enterprises overall. The proportion of women in Boards of Directors ranged from 21.3% to 22.3% between 1999 and 2006, increased to 25.5% in 2014, and has remained around 26% for the past four years.

The Parliament of Iceland passed legislation in 2010 stating that in three-member boards of companies with over 50 employees, at least one member was required to be female. The legislation also states that proportions of board members in medium and large enterprises should not be below 40% for either gender.

Planted 10,000 Trees to Offset Carbon Emissions

tree planting

Last Saturday Iceland Music organised a day of tree-planting at Hekluskógar forest in order to offset carbon emissions generated both from company travel and the Icelandic music industry at large. It was the first such event organised by the company, which has a second planned for June 1.

Around 50 volunteers took part in the May 11 planting session, planting 10,000 birch trees in the area near Sultartangi Hydropower Station over the course of four hours, at a rate of almost one tree per minute per volunteer. The planting was a contribution to the Hekla Forest Project, the largest reforestation project of its kind in Europe. The main objective of the Hekla Forest Project is to reclaim woodlands of native birch and willow to reduce wind erosion and prevent volcanic ash from blowing over nearby areas after eruptions from active volcano Hekla.

[media-credit name=”ÚTÓN” align=”alignnone” width=”1024″]tree planting[/media-credit]

“Iceland Music takes a socially responsible stance in fighting global climate change,” a press release from the organisation states. “The impact of climate change can be seen in the changing of Icelandic seasons, weather patterns, and glacial retreat. Over a 30-year period, efforts from Saturday’s tree-planting event will sequester ten times Iceland Music’s carbon emissions from 2018. This will make Iceland Music’s 2018 year carbon-negative.”

Iceland Music will hold a second tree-planting session on June 1, with the aim of planting a further 10,000 trees. There is no cost to participate. Registration is open to all and can be found at http://bit.ly/PlontumTrjam, with priority given to Icelandic musicians.

Warm and Wet Summer Forecasted for Iceland

Icelanders should prepare for a warm and wet summer, according to Meteorologist Einar Sveinbjörnsson, who released his three-month forecast on blika.is yesterday. The forecast covers the period from the beginning of June to the end of August.

“Summer weather conditions are characterised by pleasant warmth, especially in the highlands and the north and east,” Einar writes. “There is a 60-70% chance that temperatures will end up in the top third [of averages] compared to the last 20 years. The pneumatic circuit and the state of weather systems is projected to vary somewhat, shifting between differing periods of weather over the summer months.” Einar adds that El Niño has not been able to establish itself as meteorologists expected, which will impact summer weather in Iceland, as around the world.

While temperatures in North and East Iceland are expected to be warmer than average, Einar says the forecast for the south is less definitive. The North, East, and Highlands may be feeling the heat, but they are also expected to receive significantly more rainfall than average. However, as no particular wind direction is expected to prevail, Iceland’s weather will likely be very changeable this summer.