October 18, 2007

Hungary

Hungary toast remarkable first season

Will Luke





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

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Posted by 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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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!).

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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!!

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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