Thursday, 21 March 2019

Migrants lead cricket charge in Sweden

AFP

STOCKHOLM: Wooden bats and red balls are taking over Sweden’s fields: cricket is booming in the Scandinavian country thanks to Afghan and Pakistani migrants who’ve found a way to reconnect with their roots.

In a country where ice hockey reigns supreme, cricket was barely seen here 10 years ago. But it has exploded in popularity recently and now boasts 65 teams in towns across Sweden.

“Three or four years ago, we had only 13 clubs in Sweden and the number of players was around 600 or 700,” said Tariq Zuwak, chairman of the Swedish Cricket Federation.

With four divisions, the federation now counts more than 2,000 players: half have acquired Swedish citizenship, the other half are still waiting. Just a handful of members were born in Sweden.

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