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In the International Spotlight…Argentina Cricket

Posted by wildkiwi25 on February 7, 2008

In the International Spotlight(no#2)…Argentina Cricket:

Europe/U.K, Africa, Asia, Australasia and North America….are home to the most recognised cricketing countries in the world today, but what about South America? In each of the regions in the previous sentence there has been at least one country that has qualified for major international cricket events such as the I.C.C Cricket World Cup and the Champions Trophy, but it appears South America isn’t represented. In case some people don’t know South American Cricket is alive and well (to the naked eye) and one of these countries that have fought for recognition in the cricketing world is Argentina.

This 30+ something million populated Spanish-speaking country is one of the largest countries in South America and while it’s more known for its rugby and soccer national teams, but somewhere in all the fanfare of those sports is Cricket. Cricket first began in this nation as early as 1806. Around that time colonies from Britain were coming into the then newly recognised republic and by 1823 there were approximately 3,000 British persons in Buenos Aires. Of course cricket came along for the ride and the first reference to cricket in that area appeared in the issue of the British Packey (a paper printed in English which was established in 1826). The article that appeared in that issue mentioned that the Buenos Aires Cricket Club was formed by some 25 members who had ‘recently played some superb games of the elegant and brilliant game of cricket’. The Buenos Aires Cricket Club ground, which is situated at Palermo Park, was the area where cricket was mainly focussed, as well as other sports at the time. It was made official in 1864 when a game was played between HMS Bombay and themselves and the home team took the game out by 9 wickets. However, tragedy struck when nearly a week later the HMS Bombay caught fire off the coastal area off Uruguay and with such a tragedy as this there was also an enormous fatality in human lives. It was said to be ironic because in 1948 a prominent Argentinian woman called Evita Peron had the main clubhouse burnt down because of her somewhat “selfish” desire for some welfare scheme of hers. It was said she done this at a fit of rage because of the stubbornness of the Englishmen’s refusal to give the ground up for that scheme of hers.

As the Englishmen drew further and further into Argentine society the native people gradually took over the main trades that the Englishmen held, and it was them, and the North committee that later moved to Rosario, which is around 322 km northwest of the main city of Buenos Aires. The South committee had always been in Buenos Aires. As this flow of people moved south, the line that divided between the 2 teams was affected to the degree that it was moved right into Buenos Aires itself, until today when it had become somewhat a trial of strength between the clubs. With that came Belgrano and Lomas forming into South and Hurlingham, and also St Andrews and BACRC (Buenos Aires Cricket and Rugby Club)- located in Don Torcuato, formed “North”.
The official Argentine Cricket Association didn’t form until 1913 and it took 20 years for the organisation for cricket to take control of all organised cricket in the country. Cricket historians have noticed that between the years of 1900 and 1939 were the years Argentinian Cricket was most and highly successful, when touring teams that were high in status and calibre came to town to play the game, one team that’s still very highly regarded today is the Marybelone Cricket Club (M.C.C) which toured there twice. After 1939 World War II cricket in Argentina still was played however it went into a state of decline and hibernation, reaching almost obscurity in the early 1960s. But thanks to its success in the ICC Trophy it started to go back on the up and the sport grew some of its popularity back.

The domestic cricket season has a highlight, of which is the annual North vs South game which is a 3 day match. Argentina’s first foray into international cricket was when it played against Uruguay in 1868 and 29 of these fixtures were fought up-to World War II (Argentina winning 21 and losing 6). Argentina’s closest rivals to date are Brazil and their history goes back to 1888. Chile is also an opponent with the first game between them and Argentina being in 1893. It was said that the Chilean team took 3 ½ days to reach Santiago by crossing the Andes on mules.

Tours in which first-class matches (as defined by the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians) were played by the following teams:
1911-1912 MCC (three first-class matches) – MCC were captained by Lord Hawke
1926-1927 MCC (four first-class matches)
1929-1930 Sir Julien Cahn’s XI (three first-class matches)
1937-1938 Sir Theodore Brinkman’s XI (three first-class matches)

The home-page of Argentinian Cricket can be found by going here -> http://www.cricarg.com/home.htm .

Cricket Argentina

Christian Tunon bowling for Argentina

Agentina National Cricket Team
*Acknowledgements to Cricinfo.com

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