Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Cricket's snowy challenge
Iceland - a country of snow-balls
When you think of Iceland, snowy peaks, windswept glaciers and steaming geysers spring to mind.

Hardly a perfect place for a game of cricket, but the leather and willow is taking hold in the country as cricket spreads around the world.

Iceland's present cricketing claim to fame is that it is home to the world's most northerly club, Ungmennafelagid Glaumur in Stykkisholmer.

But Test Match Special commentator Henry Blofeld, who spent three days on a cricketing tour of the country, believes it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Iceland could be challenging for a place in the World Cup in 20 years.

"All these things come from small beginnings," Blofeld reasoned.

"They don't play at much of a standard now, but there is a real keeness.

When the body politic of cricket spreads it must be good for the game
Henry Blofeld
"If they go on, in 20 or 25 years you could see them taking part in the ICC Trophy to decide the places for the World Cup.

"Who knows, one day they might even make the World Cup."

The tour, by the EFG Bank Group, was front page news in a country that took a shine to cricket three years ago.

Ragnar Kristinsson was the catalyst to the country's cricketing interest after returning to Reykjavik from England with a bat.

"We went on a trip to London when the World Cup was there in 1999 and me and my friends saw a match in the pub," Kristinsson explained.

"It was the semi-final between South Africa and Australia. We were hooked."

He is honest enough in his appraisal of the sport in his home country, appreciating that it has a long way to go before it challenges bigger, more popular pastimes such as football.

But Kristinsson is happy in the knowledge that people now know about the sport, a state of play that can only be helped by EFG's short tour.

The first of the three matches started at 2345 local time and was played out under a milky midnight sun in Reykjavik.

Everything was perfectly visible but Dickie Bird would have been having tantrums with his light meter
Blofeld on playing at midnight
For the second, two hardy teams travelled to the Langjokull glacier for a match on rubber matting, before the whistle-stop visit concluded Stykkisholmer.

EFG captain Hugh Ellerton echoed Blofeld's praise after presiding over an unbeaten tour.

"It was a very good standard and what really suprised us was that in Stykkisholmer they had 11 young players, all Icelanders, playing enthusiastic cricket and really put us through our paces," Ellerton said.

Links to more Test Match Special stories


TMS Edgbaston diary: Day one
24 Jul 03  |  Test Match Special

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Sport Relief 2004 | Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Plus

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport