Icelandic Cricket Association Offers Indian Cricket Star to Play for Iceland
The Icelandic Cricket Association raised attention online yesterday when it invited Indian cricket start Ambati Rayudu to Iceland to play for the Icelandic team. Rayudu was snubbed for a call up to the Indian cricket team for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup in England.
The offer was made tongue-in-cheek by the Icelandic Cricket Association via Twitter, where the team has raised attention online recently. Rayudu had officially retired from cricket this Wednesday, so who knows if he will pick up the bat once again to play for Iceland. The Indian star was both snubbed for the original 15 man squad as well as two other players being selected ahead of him as injury replacements.
The Icelandic Cricket Association thus offered Rayudu to apply for permanent residency in the country in order to play for the national team. The matter has received due attention in India, where news outlets such as India Today, Indian Times, Indian Express, and CNN-News 18 have covered it.
Agarwal has three professional wickets at 72.33 so at least @RayuduAmbati can put away his 3D glasses now. He will only need normal glasses to read the document we have prepared for him. Come join us Ambati. We love the Rayudu things. #BANvIND #INDvBAN #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/L6XAefKWHw
— Iceland Cricket (@icelandcricket) July 1, 2019
“The offer was mostly made as a joke,” said Jakob Wayne Robertson, the spokesperson and ex-president of the Icelandic Cricket Association. “Of course we’d happily accept Rayudu, but we wouldn’t be able to pay him any wages. He’s a professional.”
Cricket up North
The Icelandic Cricket Association was formed in 2000, with the first official match of the national team taking place the same year. There are no cricket-specific stadia or training grounds in the country for the 35 players who play the sport. The association even claims that the sport was founded by Icelandic Vikings in the year 911. The team’s history online certainly proves a good read: https://www.krikket.is/history.
The team is not part of the official International Cricket Council but plays friendly matches against other nations both home and abroad. The team’s vice-captain is Delhi born Abhishek Raj Chauhan, who holds Icelandic citizenship and works as a bartender.
The association has been flooded with messages asking to join the team since the tweet went out, leading the Icelandic Cricket Association to ask people to stop sending them e-mails.
Guys we love you very much but please stop sending us emails asking if we can get you a visa to play for Iceland. We’re a national board. We select our players from residents of Iceland. We suggest you try the English county cricket system, they’ll take anyone.
— Iceland Cricket (@icelandcricket) July 2, 2019
Follow the Icelandic Cricket Association on Twitter: https://twitter.com/icelandcricket