Turkey August 29, 2009

Welcome to cricket, Turkey

Of the numerous non-Test countries to have debuted in international cricket in recent years, there have arguably been as few as unheralded as Turkey,

Of the numerous non-Test countries to have debuted in international cricket in recent years, there have arguably been as few as unheralded as Turkey,

Next week's European Division Five tournament in Corfu, Greece will be the country's first foray onto the global stage, one of the benefits of Turkey's acceptance as an Affiliate member of International Cricket Council last year

And unlike fellow newcomers, Bulgaria and Estonia, who have competed in various Twenty20 and Sixes tournaments around Europe, for Turkey it will be a total step into the unknown.

The turf wickets on Corfu may take some adjusting to from the Flicx surface of the wickets at Bilkent University in Ankara, the capital where five of the Turkish league's six teams are based.

Desi of Istanbul is mainland Europe's representative in the competition which began officially began in 2004, following on from previous ad hoc tournaments.

Pakistani students at the Bilkent and Middle Eastern University provide the bulk of the player base in Turkish cricket as well as most of the officials of the Turkish Cricket Union, whose Chief Executive is Syed Mahmud.

Huseyin Sen is the sole Turkish-born player in the side, said by Mahmud to be an allrounder who "is the one of the team's best fielders". He is one of 11 native-born players in the league.

Raj Chaudhury, a United Kingdom Cricket Council Level 3 coach, has been in Ankara training the squad and will accompany it to Corfu.

Apart from Turkey, Bulgaria and Estonia, Czech Republic, Greece, and Sweden will be contesting Division Five.

Turkey squad: Jonathan Clarkson (Capt.), Huseyin Sen, Mubashir Khan, Athar Imran Opal, Mohammad Razak, Abdul Hamid Chohan, Muhammad Aasim, Colin Sutcliffe, Imran Sharif, Syed Ateeq Ahmad, Christopher Wade, Sajjad Haider, Stephen Bryant, Guy Ranney; Coach - Raj Chaudhuri.

Tony Munro

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on April 15, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    A question for kandahar,how did indian and pakistanian Cricket develope?.The answer is they started exactly the way Turkey is starting.It took India and Pakistan many many years to develope.I personally think this is a great step forward for cricket and Turkey.Turkish people are very passionate about their sport just watch the Turkish national and league soccer games and you will understand.As far as a summer sport is concerned,Turkey really doesn't have much besides Basketball so the prospects of cricket ''catching'' on is pretty good and eventually fielding a true side will come.I personally think the Cities like Antalya and Izmir are more suited to playing cricket due to the weather conditions and the readily available ''pitches'' to play on.If I had the required back-up I personally would get involved and promote cricket in Antalya:))

  • testli5504537 on September 7, 2009, 16:41 GMT

    merhaba atik, how goes the practise? trust you guys are ready for the big day. we are all rooting for you, unfortunately mahum fell asleep while waiting for me to log on:) GO TURKEY GO !!!all the best. kaleem.

  • testli5504537 on August 31, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    As being the only Turkish (real Turkish) player of the team, and being in the center of the whole process of the development period of cricket in Turkey (2004-2009), I can say that this game without Pakistani and English players, could not improve in Turkey this fast. I guess (this is a really optimistic guess) only at most %1 of Turkish people heard about cricket in their lives here. Therefore, no one knows what it is. Someone had to show us and there comes the Paskistanis. Without expecting anything, they started something new here and it takes time for Turkish people to get used to it. Once we had enough Turkish players to have a real national team, we will do it that's for sure but for now in order to improve the popularity of this game in Turkey, we need to join the tournament without real Turkish players. The ultimate aim of Turkish Cricket Board is to create a national team with all players from Turkey. And remember as Mr.Macbeth said, cricket is a great healer.

  • testli5504537 on August 31, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    The idea that locals should make up most of the team does indeed sound correct but my question is how do you think the locals will be introduced to the game if they don't learn the game from expats. Expats can only learn the game through expats. Locals have no interest in the long ruinning games on TV. The game only gets popular in the country if its played at a good level. Denmark is a good example as the game was initially played by expats mostly but now Danish team contains many Danish players and they have a strong team. Apart from that, ICC has very strong requirements for each player to qualify for the tournament.A lot of documentation is required for a non passport holder to part of the team and spots are limited.

  • testli5504537 on August 30, 2009, 9:37 GMT


  • testli5504537 on August 30, 2009, 7:17 GMT

    I agree with Kandahar, cricket should be promoted in coutries where locals take interest in the game. But its true without the support of Asians the came cannot be promoted in other parts of the globe where cricket is not very popular...equally agree with Colin too.

  • testli5504537 on August 30, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    I tend to disagree with kandahar. If the Asians do not take up the flag, who will? The good thing here, which emphasises the point I have often made about cricket being a 'great healer', is that Turkey are playing in Corfu, Greece. What other sport would have a Turkish team playing a Greek team without violent ructions? Brave, let's all be on the side of cricket development and tnrow off partisan differences. The ICC have got it right, here.

  • testli5504537 on August 29, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Yet again the utter sham of the ICC's claims that cricket is expanding across the world are shown. Turkey? Another Asia-in-exile XI allowing sub first-class Asians to play international cricket and receive handouts from the ICC.

    Yes, developing countries need help and they should be allowed to play a quota of non-nationals who qualify through the feeble four-year residency rules. But this is just pathetic.

  • testli5504537 on August 29, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Welcome to international cricket Turkey! Once again Pakistani born cricketers are shining all over the european teams. Way to go!

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