TALLINN — It’s a very little known fact that Estonia not only has a national cricket team but also is an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council.
The Estonian Cricket Association is only approaching its 10th anniversary, but has come a long way since an Estonian businessman fell in love with the game in Australia and returned to set up a game with a local Indian restaurant.
Why an Indian restaurant you may ask? Well, you will find one billion cricket nuts in their continent, so it’s inevitable that if you can find an Indian citizen they’ll know the game and which end of a bat to pick up!
Estonian cricket moved into the big league earlier this month when it competed for the first time in the European group five ICC tournament, held in Corfu.
It was a hard-fought campaign with one win against Turkey and five defeats, but a win is a win. For this small country, represented by enthusiastic locals and expats, it was another highlight on their journey towards cricket’s higher echelons.
Regarding the cricket itself, it is a team game, but special mention should be made of T. Heath, S. Arunachalam and the incredible MMR Obili, who was one of the tournament’s best players.
After returning from Corfu, Latvia felt the full force of Estonian enthusiasm and progress last weekend, when it was beaten by ten runs (that’s a close finish in cricket) in the final of the Baltic Cup.
The ECA under the careful stewardship of Chairman Martin Dungay continues to grow. With winter training facilities now in place and a development plan designed to encourage greater participation, the future looks bright.
Estonian cricket is welcome to all comers, so if you have eyeball coordination, look good in white, why not have a go? You may be the next MMR Obili, who knows!