Academy for Italy
The Italian Cricket Federation are planning to hold their first cricket academy in April 2007. 16 players from the first division of the Italian Cricket League, aged between 15 and 19, will be selected. The aim of the venture is to bridge the gap between schools cricket and senior club cricket.
As encouraging as this sounds, cricket in Italy is still very much a minority sport. The Academy director, James Cheyne who grew up in Britain, says the lack of tradition and history of the sport in Italy is a major obstacle to it prospering in the future.
“Youngsters do not grow up with cricket and miss out on the opportunity to pick up the tricks of the game and do not encompass its unique spirit.”
“The Italian Cricket federation held a 3 day U13 championship in which around 120 boys and girls participated.
“Five years on, only a few of those boys continued to play the game. This level of dropout is not good and we must do something to sustain the development of cricket amongst the youth”
The ECB have more
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo