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News: Expats galore…..

Norway has beaten Jersey in the final of the Div II Euro Championships…… It is only fitting that the final also was an upset (Jersey did beat Norway easily in the round robin), considering all that has happenned in this tournament so far…….

Now the ECC proudly has a TOTALLY expat based team in their Div I. In fact, i dont think anyone even plays cricket in Norway except for the expats, a situation a little different from Italy and Denmark….. they have 1 ground and total playing numbers of 245. Their claim to fame is, like the US and Canada, being a country of choice for immigration from South Asia.

Ehsan Mani correctly pointed out that the game has always expanded in the world through expats. What he obviously overlooked was that it took nearly 100 years for the game to become an indegenous sport from the time the first expat started playing the game. He may be very happy at Norway getting into Div I, but the point remains that when there are teams that are at a higher level of development in terms of playing numbers, and also mainstreaming the game, and a slightly more advanced level of generating the cricketing economy, what is the point of going backwards to incorporate a team, that by all means is only competitive because the 240 expats that play the game are from Pakistan?

Please ICC….. spare us, and fix your lousy eligibility criteria….. it is hampering the advancement of proper teams……. First get to the level where there are enough playing numbers in every country and THEN care ONLY about standard…….

If only only Greece had brains……

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Ram
    August 9, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    Yes..It’s almost amazing how in each zone, the ICC is exactly focussing on the ‘wrong’ country for development…If UAE is preventing the progress of Nepal or Afghanistan in Asia, it’s Canada/USA ahead of Argentina in the American zone, maybe Namibia ahead of Uganda in Africa, and Cook Is/Vanuatu/Fiji ahead of Japan in the EAP region…Now, with the entry of Norway in Euro Div I, they getting preferential treatment ahead of Italy would be the final nail in the coffin for the ICC’s development program…And, if Norway do manage to get preferential treatment, then that shouldn’t be a surprise considering their huge economy….Somehow, the concept of huge economy doesn’t seem to hold true for countries like Japan and co, that already have indigenous players playing the game….

  2. August 9, 2006 at 1:58 pm


    I dont get your point about economy…… all of Netherlands, Denmark and Argentina have bigger economies than Norway (almost double)…… why is Norway so special? And Italy’s economy is 10 times bigger……

  3. Ram
    August 9, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Nasir…that’s what I’m saying….the ICC sees USA, Canada as huge economies when they don’t have any mainstream players but forgets other huge economies like what you’ve mentioned….As I said, if a Cook Is or Vanuatu can get as much attention or more than Japan, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Norway getting better treatment than Italy…Anyway, that was just a dig at the ICC’s expansionist policies, which give special attention to expat-based economies for whatever reason…

  4. August 10, 2006 at 1:15 am

    If all the countries had…. say at least 5-10K cricketers in their ranks….. then the ICCs/ECCs current methodologies would have been correct…… what they have conveniently ignored is that Cricket is no football, and that 1) the playing numbers are drastically lower…….. and 2) 100 Expats from Pakistan can make that team much better than the others in the region, unfortunately……

    What will Norway do with their 1st Div status? They dont have any strucutre, so its not like they are bringing in more players through the ranks…….. they will basically have to START their development program based on the ECC funding…….. there are other countries, including Geurnsey, Jersey etc. who are at a much higher level of development, but their team is weaker…… you would ask why their team is weaker, and the answer is that the Pakistani expats in Norway, while in Pakistan, played cricket day in and day out………… plus the overall level of street cricket was much higher in Pakistan……..Norway has nothing to do with that …. so in terms of Cricket Development in Europe, this is a step backwards, and the ECC should realize that part……..

  5. August 10, 2006 at 1:47 am

    I think you’re doing the Norwegians a slight disservice here. Most of them are Norwegian citizens – that means they’ve lived here for at least 7 years, probably more – and really have no intention of going back to Pakistan/India/Sri Lanka either (like the UAE players might). What do you suggest they do? Keep away from European competitions because they don’t have the correct racial make-up? Yes, there’s no youth league and only three divisions, but part of the reason for that is lack of grounds – and that ought to be helped with ECC (and perhaps government, now that the team is so successful) funding. There’s three places in Norway where cricket can be played at a reasonable level, and they’re using every single damn minute of weekend time to play cricket on those grounds – which leaves precious little time for a youth league. (OK, there aren’t too many players either.)

    Vålerenga Cricket Club in division three is captained by Chris Brekke, by the way. (who probably counts as an expat since he grew up with Salvation Army officers in Sri Lanka.) And Italian cricket is based around people like Scuderi, who grew up in Australia with Italian ancestry – is that somehow better because the names sound right?

    Good results will at least make the rest of the population curious – on a Norwegian discussion board there’s currently about 60 posts on the England v Pakistan Test series, for example. And Denmark isn’t much better at present, if you look at their youth teams…

  6. August 10, 2006 at 2:10 am


    Just to be clear….. nobody mentioned race here……. the differnce was based on expat v born and bred player…………. what Norway has achieved, it has nothing to do with Norway cricket structure, nor public interest, nor talent honed in Norway….. there is essentially no spark that the ECC is funding………

    I think you should just look at the country that Norway beat in the final…… Jersey……. they already HAVE the playing numbers….. they already HAVE govt interest………. they already HAVE media interest…….. they already HAVE grounds, and some facilities……..

    what they didn’t have were 245 Pakistani expats……..

    so….. tell me….. who deserved the ECC funding more?

    And….. its a much longer discussion….. but by no stretch of the imagination can Norway be compared to Italy….. they had 6 local players in their Euro Div I squad….. and thats just the national team, underneath, they have about 4-5 local players on the average in every seria A club team, and many more in the B teams of the clubs…. nor can Italy be compared to Denmark (at least in senior team)….. and Denmark is way behind the top three in terms of youth development…..

  7. Nishadh Rego
    August 12, 2006 at 2:31 am

    Norway is probably the European version of a Qatar or Oman, and in my opinion this hinders interest and development of the sport in countries where the indigenous population is making an effort to learn and understand the sport. It takes away opportunities from countries doing it the right way. Norway haven’t done anything wrong, and this doesn’t take away anything from their great perfomance at the Division 2 champs(Sam). The fault is essentially in the ICC Code of Elgibility.

  8. Radley Connor
    August 15, 2006 at 4:16 am

    Hi guys

    I’m a 24 year old South African and have played cricket at a reasonably high level my whole life. My girlfriend is Norwegian and I was just searching the web to see what cricket was like in Norway and what opportunities there are for overseas players.

    Anyway, I’m currently based in Amsterdam completing my studies and playing cricket in the Dutch league. I’m sorry to say, but Europe has a very long way to go before they instill a proper cricket culture necessary to produce good local players. Even the Dutch national team is only competitive because they’ve got 8 players in the squad that were not born in Holland, but in traditional cricket nations. The ICC or ECC has to wake up and smell the coffee. Cricket will never be a pro sport in Europe. Kids here want to grow up and play football,tennis,hockey etc and cricket will always remain just a hobby they play to kill time in the summer.

    Now if that’s the impression I get from the Dutch who is a powerhouse of Euro cricket, I’d hate to see what it’s like in Norway.

    I say let cricket be played by those who love the game irrespective of race creed or colour(like the expats in Norway) because those who don’t appreciate cricket ruin the beautiful game for us all.

    I’ll be in Oslo from the 28th August till 10th September visiting my girlfriend. Are there any games on I can go watch to see what it’s like? Can one of you please enlighten me on what the criteria is for representing a country like Norway if you weren’t born there? Hopefully I’m one of those expats running out for Norway one day.

    Enjoy the game guys

    Radley Connor

  9. August 15, 2006 at 11:57 am

    You need to reside in Norway for 4 years, at least 183 days per year, and be involved in Cricket………. by involved, you can even be a desk clerk at Norway cricket board, and that is consisdered involvement……. at the end of this period, you will be a deemed national, and I believe that Norway can play 2 deemed nationals in their national team……. if you reside for 7 years, then you become a national, and Norway can play as many as those as they desire……

    Regarding Cricket becoming a passion in Europe, I dont know if Cricket is a passion even in New Zealand………. or Zimbabwe………….. for something to become a passion takes time……… it needs history, needs a team that you can back……….. and the team needs to do something so that people remember it………. for Netherlands, I think it will be good enough if they can get 50K cricketers……….. that is only 0.3% of their population……….. no passion, but still they will have a decent team, and will have a standard that has a chance of making it into a passion with their performance………

    In the US, all kids want to become American Football players, or Basketball, baseball players…… yet there are soccer players, there are atheletes, cyclists, even professional lacrosse players…….. and wrestlers……. it never has to be either one sport OR the other…… let people play whatever they want to to, and select whatever they enjoy more, or most, or even the sport of choice for someone who could not make it as a pro player in their favorite sport …..

  10. Radley
    August 16, 2006 at 2:48 am

    THanks Nasir.
    I’ll look into the qualification thing.

    You say the Netherlands won’t have any passion, but still have a decent team. THat’s exactly what I’m saying. THe passion comes from expat players and the heart of the team is non-Dutch born!

    You can’t compare sport in the US to cricket in Europe. In the US every sport is rich with cash and there are financial incentives to represent that country in anything. THat does not happen in Europe, even Holland players have to pay for some tours and you shouldn’t have to pay to represent your country! Even rugby has become a pro sport in America and with all the cash floating around in sport over there it won’t be long before the USA becomes the preferred destination for South African, Australian and New Zealand cricketers in the off season.


  11. August 16, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    Radley….. ten Doeschate is an import, so are the 2 liabilities in Reekers and Stelling…….. who else is an import? Surely, you cant be saying that Kervezee is an import? He was probably 3-4 years old when he came to Netherlands, and is in any case not from a test playing country…………. Raja is not a regular in the Dutch team anymore……

    All of Zuiderant, Van Bunge, Schwarzinski, Van Nierop, Tim De Leede, Seelar….. and even Kashif are Dutch born I think…… how do you get to the conclusion that heart of the team is non-Dutch born?

    Regarding money….. cricket has a lot of money…… but in order to avail it, you have to be at least higher than a certain standard…… lets just say that Netherlands were reasonably competitive against India, then they could actually invite India for 5 ODI series and even with low numbers sell the TV rights for around than $2 million for 1 series !……… if the Dutch were better than India, they could actually manage to sell the rights for more than $4million….. we are talking about a 2 week event here……. we are talking about associates who get grants worth $50K per year……. money like that would be a huge step forward for them……..

    So quitely…… Dutch need to get their playing numbers up, because thats one of the things holding their standard back………. All of Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands, if they have playing numbers around 20K+, will have competitive teams, becuase they rest of their structures are good, and they have the advantage of close proximity with England………

    Just to clarify…. US has little money in cricket……. and the US Cricketers are probably much worse off than Netherlands in terms of tours etc…… MLC is having a tough time right now…… ProCricket flopped 2 years back……. US is a great expat market tough….. but perhaps, so is Netherlands (remember the VideoCon cup in 2004?), and with better facilities……

  12. October 29, 2006 at 7:35 pm


  13. June 24, 2008 at 3:47 am


    I’m currently playing my 3rd consecutive season here in Oslo for Vålerenga CK and I can honestly say it is improving at a steady pace. We now have 4 grounds and there is talk of a NCF club house being built at Rømmen. So let’s get behind the norwegian cricket forbund and make cricket a natural choice in summer time.

    great blog by the way, very open and honest,
    all the best,

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