Hungary October 18, 2007

Hungary toast remarkable first season

23





The Hungarian Cricket League final between Crown CC and Genpact was a fiercely competitive affair © Caboodle

Caboodle, a "Hungarian portal," has a fascinating article on the rise of the great game in Hungary.

Before the season started this summer, many of the Hungarians had only seen cricket on TV and the majority of foreign residents involved hadn't played for years. Throughout the spring and summer, Grieve and Brown worked hard to bring their idea to life. Brown set up a team in his native village of Dunabogdány, Grieve continued training the students at the school he teaches at in Székesfehérvár. They were joined by four other XIs, two works teams and two outfits founded at open training days in the Városliget park.

All of the HCA participants from around the country were at the Taj Mahal to celebrate the season and dish out awards. Grieve brought a group of girls and boys from his school in Székesfehérvár to the event and awarded a prize to Fanni Cziráky, the best, and only, female player to compete in the league. "If cricket is to have a future in Hungary, we must involve the Hungarians and reach out to them," he said in his closing speech. He praised the school he teaches at, Comenius in Székesfehérvár, who have supported cricket at the school financially.

"I talk about cricket to my students all the time, and the language of cricket is English. That in itself is great for the kids," he said, "we have practice four times a week in a car park and it is great news for us that there is a competitive cricket league for us to be involved in. I am not a big cricketer, they were really my inspiration for helping start the league," he added.

Are you a Hungarian cricketer or follower? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ShamSL on October 30, 2007, 23:07 GMT

    I find that in many ways Hungary is different to the rest of Europe. They are neither Germans nor Slavonic in ethnicity and speak a very different language from the rest of Europe. I do think that Hungary has the potential to make cricket a big game there because people are very welcoming of new ideas, irrespective where they are from. I was one of the first people to see Hungarians play Cricket in Budapest in 1988 (I was only 8) when a bunch of SL expats travelled to Hungary to exchange their national sports. Its good to see that some seeds were laid back then

  • Gabor Torok on October 23, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    Great to see that there are new people who have just found out about the game being played here. To anyone who would like to play, and was not involved in this year's league, please write to me at gabsmail@freemail.hu I am founding a cricket club, and all new players are invited to join, especially Hungarians.

  • Andy Grieve on October 23, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Thanks for finding and posting the article, and thanks everybody for your comments. We are on the move! Our website at www.hungary4cricket.com has all the details. Any touring teams are very welcome next season, as are new players (especially locals!).

  • dave on October 22, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    nice article, but how many natives are playing the game of cricket? Is cricket being played only by people from cricketing countries working or settled in hungary or is it that the natives have taken to the game as well? Unless natives of the country take to the game, the development effort will end up being nought.

  • Johan on October 22, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    I'm happy to hear that people are doing something to develop cricket here in mainland Europe, because the ICC clearly does not care about us at all. They even goes so far to not permit any live feed over the Internet to Europe for any cricket games at all for reasons I do not quite understand: “Broadcast not permitted for your region” has appeared on my screen so many times it’s scary. With no cricket on the telly – bar the odd highlights on BBc World news - and only highlight streaming packages available at exuberant rates, don't expect cricket to go anywhere in mainland Europe for a very long time to come, if ever.

  • Jeevs on October 22, 2007, 8:56 GMT

    Congrats to Hungary on joining the worldmap of countries that increasingly embrace cricket! One more thing i'd like to add though, more than just a game (like in many other sports) cricket ought to teach you 3 keys things if you are to suceed in any walk of like, i.e; Discipline Dedicaiton and Determination These 3 D's will take you very ar. Credit to one of my cricket coaches for that!

    Jeevan Sri Lanka

  • Venki on October 22, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    This is great! I lived in Hungary from 1993 to 2003. And we played a few games at the Sports university grounds - outdoors and indoors during winter. We had invited teams from England, Holland and Austria and had a few friendly matches. Our team travelled to Germany and Austria to play a few games too! Of course the pitch conditions were poor. ECC supplied us with kit but unfortunately cricket didn't take off as we desired. There was a write-up in Wisden 2000 about Hungarian cricket submitted by yours truly. It is fantastic to know that finally cricket in Hungary has taken a much more formal form and hoping to see Magyarorszag participate in ICC tropy soon - all the best!!

  • rev on October 22, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    This is fantastic news! I am heading through Europe from Ireland to Turkey next year and hopefully I will stumble across a match in Hungary!

  • wiq on October 21, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Wow, i didn't know that cricket was played in Hungary. Great to hear. I'm from england, but study in Debrecen in Hungary. Doea anyone know if there's any cricket played in or near Debrecen?

  • Mano on October 21, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    This is just unbelievable, I never heard of cricket existing my country. Sent an email already, hope to join up. A big thank you to cricinfo for covering the issue.

  • ShamSL on October 30, 2007, 23:07 GMT

    I find that in many ways Hungary is different to the rest of Europe. They are neither Germans nor Slavonic in ethnicity and speak a very different language from the rest of Europe. I do think that Hungary has the potential to make cricket a big game there because people are very welcoming of new ideas, irrespective where they are from. I was one of the first people to see Hungarians play Cricket in Budapest in 1988 (I was only 8) when a bunch of SL expats travelled to Hungary to exchange their national sports. Its good to see that some seeds were laid back then

  • Gabor Torok on October 23, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    Great to see that there are new people who have just found out about the game being played here. To anyone who would like to play, and was not involved in this year's league, please write to me at gabsmail@freemail.hu I am founding a cricket club, and all new players are invited to join, especially Hungarians.

  • Andy Grieve on October 23, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Thanks for finding and posting the article, and thanks everybody for your comments. We are on the move! Our website at www.hungary4cricket.com has all the details. Any touring teams are very welcome next season, as are new players (especially locals!).

  • dave on October 22, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    nice article, but how many natives are playing the game of cricket? Is cricket being played only by people from cricketing countries working or settled in hungary or is it that the natives have taken to the game as well? Unless natives of the country take to the game, the development effort will end up being nought.

  • Johan on October 22, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    I'm happy to hear that people are doing something to develop cricket here in mainland Europe, because the ICC clearly does not care about us at all. They even goes so far to not permit any live feed over the Internet to Europe for any cricket games at all for reasons I do not quite understand: “Broadcast not permitted for your region” has appeared on my screen so many times it’s scary. With no cricket on the telly – bar the odd highlights on BBc World news - and only highlight streaming packages available at exuberant rates, don't expect cricket to go anywhere in mainland Europe for a very long time to come, if ever.

  • Jeevs on October 22, 2007, 8:56 GMT

    Congrats to Hungary on joining the worldmap of countries that increasingly embrace cricket! One more thing i'd like to add though, more than just a game (like in many other sports) cricket ought to teach you 3 keys things if you are to suceed in any walk of like, i.e; Discipline Dedicaiton and Determination These 3 D's will take you very ar. Credit to one of my cricket coaches for that!

    Jeevan Sri Lanka

  • Venki on October 22, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    This is great! I lived in Hungary from 1993 to 2003. And we played a few games at the Sports university grounds - outdoors and indoors during winter. We had invited teams from England, Holland and Austria and had a few friendly matches. Our team travelled to Germany and Austria to play a few games too! Of course the pitch conditions were poor. ECC supplied us with kit but unfortunately cricket didn't take off as we desired. There was a write-up in Wisden 2000 about Hungarian cricket submitted by yours truly. It is fantastic to know that finally cricket in Hungary has taken a much more formal form and hoping to see Magyarorszag participate in ICC tropy soon - all the best!!

  • rev on October 22, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    This is fantastic news! I am heading through Europe from Ireland to Turkey next year and hopefully I will stumble across a match in Hungary!

  • wiq on October 21, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Wow, i didn't know that cricket was played in Hungary. Great to hear. I'm from england, but study in Debrecen in Hungary. Doea anyone know if there's any cricket played in or near Debrecen?

  • Mano on October 21, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    This is just unbelievable, I never heard of cricket existing my country. Sent an email already, hope to join up. A big thank you to cricinfo for covering the issue.

  • scott from prague on October 21, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    The youth team from Hungary are willing to come to Prague, Czech republic for a Junior tournament, November 3rd and 4th. Anyone who wants to help them get there, as transport is the big cost, give them an email, and get their team of the future, playing today.!!!! support cricket at the grass roots.

  • Tom on October 20, 2007, 16:43 GMT

    It is great to hear of cricket played in Hungary, I am of Hungarian descent, live in Australia and have played cricket for almost 30 years. I would like to find out more about the league and where the players are from?

  • Gabor Torok on October 20, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    This year has been enormous, and Hungarian cricket getting coverage on Cricinfo is the icing on the cake. We haven't taken baby steps this year, we have decided to take the aerial route instead. As a native, I hope we can make this a sport played and recognised by more and more Hungarians.For twelve barren years, I never thought this could happen, but on the basis of this year, there are no limits to what we can achieve, especially if we get support from the ICC and ECC. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Hungarian cricket for making this dream come true.

  • adarsh on October 20, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    it is nice to hear about the league in Hungary,i hope people out there will enjoy this game .May i congratulate the people responsible of arranging this league and wish them my sincere wishes. let the almighty give them the best of health and resources to continue this wonderful effort

  • Szilvia on October 19, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    I am Hungarian. I got to know more about cricket two years ago. Since I try to follow it as regularly as I can. Cricket is a fantastic game. I am delighted that Hungary has a league. Keep up the good work! One day Hungary should play at a bigger stage.

  • vinu varghese jacob on October 19, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    Its really wonderful to notice cricket is gaining its prominence around the world. seeing cricket grow in hungary encourages others elsewhere and thats a good sign for the future of cricket. we in Ireland would certainly like to lend a helping hand if needed.well done

  • Daniel on October 19, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    I can't wait until they make test status, and we get to listen to CMJ trying to pronounce that lot ...

  • Laksh on October 19, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    In reply to Barhos, I dont understand U by saying people are not intrested? There are people who say this is the best game in the World & could be even better if it spreads & get more n more cuntries involved... ICC is taking few steps but thats not enough they need to plan in proper way so that the game is popular first... Then many people who dont know about the game will know wat Cricket is all about & how intresting it is... I feel there is never a better sport then CRICKET...

  • Barhos on October 19, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    Ravi: I think the ICC is doing much more than you assume to spread the word of Cricket around the world. The introduction of the World Cricket League and more tours among the non-test nations around the World is a good step.

    ICC is doing its job but the people are not interested in a bat and ball game (I presume).

  • Vish Viswanathan on October 19, 2007, 3:13 GMT

    With the advent of 20/20 cricket, ICC should actively spread the game to non-traditional countries. It is great to hear of the spread of the game so close to my heart in Hungary. Well done.

  • roheet kumar shrivastava on October 19, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    Hey hats off to the Crown CC team! Sameer you did a great job you were the coolest! All the best to all of you. GREAT JOB

  • Mike Bailey on October 18, 2007, 23:44 GMT

    In response to Ravi Kumar's post - ICC's Global Development Program does cover Europe - the European Development Program administered by the European Cricket Council does do this role - ICC publications will show you that European has a very thriving cricket scene - cricket is starting to be played in Eastern Europe - and hopefully with dedication and commitment from followers in these countries, and a commitment to involve indigenous cricketers, the game can take root - admittedly though the bureaucracy involved in many countries makes it a slow process, but there are people out there spreading the word and making sure that cricket is promoted.

  • Ravi kumar on October 18, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    I think its high time the ICC steps up to take necessary action in the upgradation of Cricket in countries other than the Commonwealth. The priorities should be set up in such a way that countries which want to be a game to this sport should be given the necessary facilities and infrastructure and aid the government of the respective countries and let them improve this Gentleman's game of the past, present and future. One would like to see necessary improvements in this front notwithstanding the facilities given only to African or Asian blocs but elsewhere in Europe like former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe, which can be a great entertainer and could draw in crowds and try to make this sport more global.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ravi kumar on October 18, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    I think its high time the ICC steps up to take necessary action in the upgradation of Cricket in countries other than the Commonwealth. The priorities should be set up in such a way that countries which want to be a game to this sport should be given the necessary facilities and infrastructure and aid the government of the respective countries and let them improve this Gentleman's game of the past, present and future. One would like to see necessary improvements in this front notwithstanding the facilities given only to African or Asian blocs but elsewhere in Europe like former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe, which can be a great entertainer and could draw in crowds and try to make this sport more global.

  • Mike Bailey on October 18, 2007, 23:44 GMT

    In response to Ravi Kumar's post - ICC's Global Development Program does cover Europe - the European Development Program administered by the European Cricket Council does do this role - ICC publications will show you that European has a very thriving cricket scene - cricket is starting to be played in Eastern Europe - and hopefully with dedication and commitment from followers in these countries, and a commitment to involve indigenous cricketers, the game can take root - admittedly though the bureaucracy involved in many countries makes it a slow process, but there are people out there spreading the word and making sure that cricket is promoted.

  • roheet kumar shrivastava on October 19, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    Hey hats off to the Crown CC team! Sameer you did a great job you were the coolest! All the best to all of you. GREAT JOB

  • Vish Viswanathan on October 19, 2007, 3:13 GMT

    With the advent of 20/20 cricket, ICC should actively spread the game to non-traditional countries. It is great to hear of the spread of the game so close to my heart in Hungary. Well done.

  • Barhos on October 19, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    Ravi: I think the ICC is doing much more than you assume to spread the word of Cricket around the world. The introduction of the World Cricket League and more tours among the non-test nations around the World is a good step.

    ICC is doing its job but the people are not interested in a bat and ball game (I presume).

  • Laksh on October 19, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    In reply to Barhos, I dont understand U by saying people are not intrested? There are people who say this is the best game in the World & could be even better if it spreads & get more n more cuntries involved... ICC is taking few steps but thats not enough they need to plan in proper way so that the game is popular first... Then many people who dont know about the game will know wat Cricket is all about & how intresting it is... I feel there is never a better sport then CRICKET...

  • Daniel on October 19, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    I can't wait until they make test status, and we get to listen to CMJ trying to pronounce that lot ...

  • vinu varghese jacob on October 19, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    Its really wonderful to notice cricket is gaining its prominence around the world. seeing cricket grow in hungary encourages others elsewhere and thats a good sign for the future of cricket. we in Ireland would certainly like to lend a helping hand if needed.well done

  • Szilvia on October 19, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    I am Hungarian. I got to know more about cricket two years ago. Since I try to follow it as regularly as I can. Cricket is a fantastic game. I am delighted that Hungary has a league. Keep up the good work! One day Hungary should play at a bigger stage.

  • adarsh on October 20, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    it is nice to hear about the league in Hungary,i hope people out there will enjoy this game .May i congratulate the people responsible of arranging this league and wish them my sincere wishes. let the almighty give them the best of health and resources to continue this wonderful effort