In the International Spotlight…Tanzania Cricket
Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 2, 2009
The Tanzania national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Tanzania in international cricket matches. Cricket has been played in what is now Tanzania since 1890, and the national side first played in 1951.
The Tanzania Cricket Association became an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001, and the national side is currently in Division Four of the World Cricket League.
Beginnings of cricket in Tanzania:
Cricket was first played in what is now Tanzania on the island of Zanzibar by the British Navy as recreation for the officers and crew. Cricket spread to Tanganyika after the British took over the League of Nations mandate in 1919.
Cricket began to be concentrated mostly on the coast and on Zanzibar, with particular development in Dar-es-Salaam. The Indian population quickly took up the game and by the 1930s formed the majority of the players, with a significant European minority.
Distance between Tanganyika and other countries in East Africa meant that the first international wasn’t played until 1951, when Tanganyika lost by an innings to Kenya. Occasional matches against Kenya and Uganda continued throughout the 1950s and Zanzibar also played matches against Uganda, beginning in 1956.
Other opponents from further afield also toured, with Tanganyika playing the MCC in 1957 and 1963, a South African Non-Europeans side in 1958 (who also played Zanzibar and Pakistan International Airlines in 1964. The occasional matches against Kenya and Uganda eventually led to a formal triangular tournament being introduced in 1967, later to become a quadrangular tournament with the addition of Zambia.
As many businesses were nationalised in the early 1970s, much of the Indian and British population began to left the country. Cricketers, including John Solanky, who went on to play for Glamorgan, were amongst those who left the country, and standards went into decline.
Since the 1970s, the Tanzania Cricket Association has concentrated on developing the game amongst the African communities, and the national side now contains between 20-25% African players. The national side returned to form in the mid-1990s, when they were runners-up in two Africa-wide tournaments in 1994 and 1995, though there was again a slight decline in the late 1990s.
The Tanzania Cricket Association became an associate member of the ICC in 2001 (Tanzania had previously played international cricket as part of the combined East Africa and East and Central Africa teams) opening up new opportunities for Tanzanian cricket. The first matches for the national side as an ICC member were in the 2002 Africa Cup where they lost all four of their matches.
They showed improvement by the Africa Cricket Association Championship in 2004, where they still finished last, but did beat Zambia in the final match of the tournament, which was a qualifying event for the 2005 ICC Trophy. Even more improvement was shown in the equivalent tournament two years later, when they won Division Two of the World Cricket League Africa Region. This result qualified Tanzania for Division Three of the World Cricket League in Darwin in 2007. Tanzania finished sixth in that tournament after losing to Hong Kong in a play-off, which relegated them to Division Four.
The following players represented Tanzania in their most recent match, against Hong Kong in 2007:
Links to more information on Tanzania Cricket:
*Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.