Today, at Female Cricket, we will take a look at the cricketing history of some of the lesser-known countries in cricket. In particular, we take a look at 5 Island Countries that most cricket fans don’t have much knowledge about. Quite a few island countries have Cricket as their national sports, such as Bermuda. Most of the island countries that make up the West Indies National Cricket team, such as Barbados, also has cricket as their national sport. The countries we talk about today are all members of the ICC. Without further ado, let’s dig deeper.
Cricket in Cook Island
Starting off our list is the nation of Cook Island, located off the coast of New Zealand. Cook Island became an Affiliate Member of the ICC in 2000 and played their first encounter in 2001 at the Pacifica Cricket Championships. A key highlight of the development of cricket in Cook Island is its emphasis on the women’s game. Several women’s leagues have popped up all over the small nation, and the number of women clubs participating went from 6 to currently, 27. They finished 6th in their first-ever tournament in Vanuatu and recently participated in the 2015 Pacific Games in another island nation, PNG.
Cricket in Fiji
The island nation of Fiji is familiar to lots of people around the world, but not as a cricketing nation. While the beautiful beaches and vibrant sunsets are a well-documented aspect in Fiji, cricket in Fiji is not much known. Fiji has a rich history in cricket, especially the women’s team, who has been an ICC member since 1965. However, the first women’s national team wasn’t formed till 2009, before their tour of Vanuatu in 2010. Cricket can be traced in the island nation back to 1865 when a local team played against a visiting Royal Navy Ship.
Cricket in Vanuatu
Among the island nations, Vanuatu is one of the most prominent ones. They were admitted in the ICC as an affiliate member in 2005 and made their debut against Tonga at the 2001 Pacific Championships. They hosted the Pacific Championships, four years later, in 2005. Vanuatu was the first country to resume playing cricket in 2020, as the COVID pandemic largely spared them.
Cricket in Samoa
Next up on our list is the Samoan Islands, located off the coast of North America. Much like most countries in the world, cricket was introduced to this island by the British – the HMS Diamond Royal Navy vessel, in particular. Headed by the Samoa International Cricket Association, the country became an affiliate member in 2000. Since their debut, Samoa has hosted several vital tournaments, like the 2002 Pacifica Cup and 2007 ICC East Asia-Pacific Cricket 8s. In a momentous occasion, cricket was played in the famous “Teuila Festival’. This event announced cricket as the national sport of Samoa.
Cricket in Japan
The last country on our list is the island nation of Japan. They became an affiliate member of the ICC way back in 1989. Cricket in Japan is administered by the Japan Cricket Association (JCA), and its’ spread mainly occurred as a university sport. They famously won the Gold Medal
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