Cricket now booming in Germany, thanks to refugees

Cricket now booming in Germany, thanks to refugees

Magine it’s 2027 and Germany face England at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium in the first one-day cricket international between the nations. Such an historic David versus Goliath clash remains a distant pipe-dream, but with cricket booming in football-mad Germany, it could be a glimpse of the future.

Although still a minority sport, playing numbers here have doubled in the past few years and the German national team, made up of expats who qualified on residency, is on the rise. Imagine it’s 2027 and Germany face England at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium in the first one-day cricket international between the nations.

Such an historic David versus Goliath clash remains a distant pipe-dream, but with cricket booming in football-mad Germany, it could be a glimpse of the future. Although still a minority sport, playing numbers here have doubled in the past few years and the German national team, made up of expats who qualified on residency, is on the rise.

In Frankfurt on Monday, Germany hosted the world’s oldest club, the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club, an invitational team made up of players with international and first-class experience. The MCC’s visit helps Germany prepare for next month’s Europe Division One tournament in the Netherlands against fellow minnows like Belgium, France, Norway and Sweden.

After winning last year’s division two tournament in Sweden, Germany hopes for another promotion in Holland to reach World League Division Five in South Africa in September – the first rung on the ladder to the World Cup. “To be honest Daniel Weston wasn’t even sure Germany hosted much cricket, but the standard looks quite good and we’re hearing goods things about the future numbers,” former Yorkshire batsman Jim Love, who managed the MCC team, told AFP.

Afghan influx

Cricket now booming in Germany, thanks to refugees

The 2015 refugee crisis meant thousands of new arrivals from cricket-mad Afghanistan. New clubs are popping up nationwide and over 450 refugee projects were supported by the German Cricket Federation (DCB) in 2016.