In the International Spotlight…Gibraltar cricket
Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 25, 2009
The Gibraltar national cricket team is the team that represents the British overseas territory of Gibraltar in international cricket. They have been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1969. They are currently ranked sixth amongst European non-Test teams.
Cricket has been played in Gibraltar by British servicemen since the late 18th century. A cricket ground is known to have existed north of the Rock of Gibraltar in 1800. Civilians were playing the game as well as servicemen by 1822. The Gibraltar Cricket Club was formed in 1883, and formed the backbone of civilian cricket until well into the 20th Century.
In 1890, a ship carrying the Australia national cricket team on the way to a tour of England, docked in Gibraltar Harbour after a collision with two other ships. The Australians played a game against a Gibraltar Garrison team. The local side were dismissed for just 25, and the Australians won the game, scoring 150/8.
The game was flourishing in the 1930s, with Gibraltar producing many locally born players. However, the Second World War meant a cut back in the game, with many cricket fields giving way to the military, one even being converted into an airfield.
The 1950s saw an increase in clubs, and the Gibraltar Cricket Association was formed in 1960. They were elected to associate membership of the ICC in 1969. Essex County Cricket Club visited after the conclusion of the 1973 English domestic season, and played a Rock XI in a one day game, winning by 178 runs. Visits by English sides of various ability levels have continued ever since.
In 1982, Gibraltar took part in the second ICC Trophy, without winning a match. They improved on this performance in the 1986 tournament, gaining their first international win against Israel. They performed even better in the next tournament, beating East and Central Africa, Singapore and Israel reaching the plate competition. Israel toured Gibraltar in 1992, winning the match they played against the national side.
Gibraltar finished in 20th place in the 1994 ICC Trophy, and played in the first European Championship in Copenhagen in 1996, finishing sixth after losing to Scotland in a play-off. They finished 19th in the following years ICC Trophy and played poorly in the 1998 European Championship, finishing last in the ten team tournament.
In 1999, Gibraltar hosted a quadrangular tournament also involving France, Israel and Italy, losing in the final to Italy. The European Championship was split into two divisions in 2000, with Gibraltar placed in Division Two, which they won. The following year they travelled to Canada to take part in the 2001 ICC Trophy. A withdrawal by Italy and the non-arrival of West Africa left Gibraltar with just three matches to play against Germany, Namibia and Nepal, losing all of them and not progressing beyond the first round.
Gibraltar defended their European Division Two title in 2002, but could not continue this success in 2004, finishing fifth out of six teams. They did not qualify for the 2005 ICC Trophy, and finished fourth in Division Two of the European Championship in 2006 after losing a play-off to Germany.
In 2008, Gibraltar took part in Division Two of the European Championship in Guernsey, playing against the hosts in addition to France, Germany, Jersey and the winner of a play-off between Israel and Croatia. In a recent ICC reshuffle, Gibratar will now play in ICC World Cricket League Division 7.
Links to more information on Gibraltar Cricket:
*Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.