Cricket in Germany?

Cricket in Germany?

Cricket has a long history in Germany, dating back to 1858, when a group of English and American cricketers created the first German cricket club in Berlin. Several more teams, as well as a national organization, were formed afterwards in Berlin and throughout Germany. Cricket survived the next century, with German players visiting England on occasion and British and other foreign teams touring Germany, but it wasn't until the 1980s that it regained a footing in German colleges that the number of German cricket clubs and players began to expand again.

Until recently, the majority of cricket in Germany was played by British soldiers stationed there. However, due to an inflow of migrants and refugees from cricket-playing nations like as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the game's popularity has risen in recent years. The German Cricket Federation (Deutscher Cricket Bund, DCB) was established in 1988 as the game's national governing body. There are around 220 cricket teams in the country in 2016, up from 70 in 2012, and the number of teams had grown to 350 by 2019.

Hundreds of thousands of forced migrants poured into Germany in 2015, with an estimated 890,000 arriving on German soil by December. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Afghanistan were among the countries represented. Many Germans greeted migrants as they disembarked trains in towns like Munich, handing out clothes, teddy bears, and sweets. In the early 2010s, Germany proclaimed, “Wir schaffen das,” or “we can do this.” This exceptional national show of "welcoming culture" produced a wide range of far-reaching and unanticipated effects for Germany. One of those repercussions is the revival of men's cricket in the country.

Men's cricket involvement in Germany has increased dramatically since 2015, owing partly to the inflow of forced migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghans made up 31,895 of Germany's 476,510 refugee applications in 2015. In 2016, these data increased dramatically, with 745,155 asylum applications and 127,830 Afghans. With over 6,000 active players, the country is presently one of the ICC's fastest growing Associate Members. The expansion of social and competitive cricket possibilities has had good psychosocial and integrative effects on forced migrants who have faced persecution, dislocation, and trauma, adding significantly to Germany's post-2015 national migrant integration policy.

The fact that cricket is not an Olympic sport, however, explains the federal government's lack of interest in growing the sport. According to CEO DCB Brian Mantle, Germany is an Olympic country," where "Germans [will] want to know how they might win a medal if there is one to be won." Because there are Olympic medals to be won, sports like curling and synchronized swimming, which only 50 people in the country participate in, are financed. The amount of government support that cricket would likely receive if it became an Olympic sport, according to Mantle, might make ICC funds meaningless for the DCB, which is still a "autonomous sporting association" on the periphery.



Cricket in Germany?