Cricket Conquest

Cricket Krikket

It’s a grey spring day in Southwest Iceland. In the town of Hafnarfjörður, in Víðistaðatún park, few people are out and about except for the occasional dog owner taking their pet for a stroll. One pauses under the angled façade of Víðistaðakirkja churchto cast an inquisitive glance at a group gathered on the field. Then a […]

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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.

“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.

Follow the Icelandic Cricket Association on Twitter: https://twitter.com/icelandcricket

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.