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World’s Northernmost Cricket Ground to Open in Iceland

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.

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