Italy August 31, 2008

Coliseum of cricket

Cricket is gaining popularity in Italy, a football-mad nation, thanks to thousands of subcontinental immigrants flooding into the country.

Cricket is gaining popularity in Italy, a football-mad nation, thanks to thousands of subcontinental immigrants flooding into the country.

With a few hundred thousand people from the Indian subcontinent now in Italy, there are real quality players moving up from the parks into the league and national side, said Simone Gambino, an Italian who caught the cricket bug while visiting England in the 1970s and who now heads the Italian Cricket Federation.

Local councils have begun to provide space for games, said Gambino. "There are around 100,000 people from the subcontinent in the province of Brescia, and they want to play cricket, so the council had to provide pitches to stop people being struck by cricket balls."

Tom Kington has the full story in The Guardian.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bob Neil on September 1, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    If the growth of Italian locals playing rugby is anything to go by, it is likely to be slow progress to build cricket in Italy predominantly via expats. The ICC should invest in Spanish, Italian & other European language commentary teams to help broadcast key Twenty20 tournaments. Satelite tv coverage in the relevant local language is a good way to communicate & explain the game of cricket to new non-english speaking audiences. For cricket to expand to new markets, it needs more 'big-bang' impacts to capitalise on migration trends rather than 20 year gradual growth. Gradual, gradual growth via expats appears to be an very inefficient way of expanding the game.

  • Simon Butler on September 1, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    This is great news for the game in Italy. Its good to see the game growing over there.

  • Bob Neil on September 1, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    If the growth of Italian locals playing rugby is anything to go by, it is likely to be slow progress to build cricket in Italy predominantly via expats. The ICC should invest in Spanish, Italian & other European language commentary teams to help broadcast key Twenty20 tournaments. Satelite tv coverage in the relevant local language is a good way to communicate & explain the game of cricket to new non-english speaking audiences. For cricket to expand to new markets, it needs more 'big-bang' impacts to capitalise on migration trends rather than 20 year gradual growth. Gradual, gradual growth via expats appears to be an very inefficient way of expanding the game.

  • Simon Butler on September 1, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    This is great news for the game in Italy. Its good to see the game growing over there.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Simon Butler on September 1, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    This is great news for the game in Italy. Its good to see the game growing over there.

  • Bob Neil on September 1, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    If the growth of Italian locals playing rugby is anything to go by, it is likely to be slow progress to build cricket in Italy predominantly via expats. The ICC should invest in Spanish, Italian & other European language commentary teams to help broadcast key Twenty20 tournaments. Satelite tv coverage in the relevant local language is a good way to communicate & explain the game of cricket to new non-english speaking audiences. For cricket to expand to new markets, it needs more 'big-bang' impacts to capitalise on migration trends rather than 20 year gradual growth. Gradual, gradual growth via expats appears to be an very inefficient way of expanding the game.