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|Postal Address:||Estadio Nacional/National Stadium, Office S.1006.
La Sabana, San José, Costa Rica
|Main switchboard:||+506 2549 0979|
|General enquiry email:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Cricket was first played in Costa Rica (CR) in the late Twentieth Century, introduced by Jamaicans who came in the 1880’s to work on construction of the railway from the Caribbean port of Limon to the capital San José in the central plateau, through 100 miles of mountains and jungle. Later, whether or not they had been promised return tickets, most stayed and went to work for United Fruit Banana Company, which encouraged teams named after stations on the railway. In its’ heyday in the 1920’s, there were no less than 45 teams in the province of Limon. In the 1930’s teams went from CR to the West Indies and vice-versa; in 1936, CR’s most famous cricketer, Lancelot Binns, scored 30 runs against a touring team from Yorkshire, which included Len Hutton and seven other former or future English Test players. World War II almost killed off cricket in CR but it refused to die … For more on its’ colourful history, read on CR website ‘A Hundred Years of Costa Rican Cricket, 1880 – 1990. An untold chapter of Caribbean History’ by Tim Willasey-Wilsey, 2013, as well as his ‘Jamaica, Headley and the Heyday of Costa Rican Cricket’, published the same year on www.cricketworld.com.
The modern era of CR cricket kicked off a Century later. Between 1986 and 2001, teams came to play from Panama, Cayman Islands, New Zealand and California and Costa Rica went to play in Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The first formal CR cricket League was established in 2005, with four senior clubs competing for the Lance Binns Trophy, being Caribbean, Corsairs, CCCCR and Raleigh, this last now replaced by Team Asia. Costa Rica Cricket Association was founded in 2000, became an ICC Affiliate member country in 2002, and was legally inscribed in 2003 with the CR sports authority, ICODER. It was upgraded in 2009 to status of Federation (CRCF), Federación de Cricket de Costa Rica, and granted national representation as the sole CR Cricket authority in 2010. A Women’s Cricket Association and an Asian Cricket Association are to join the Federation in 2014.
In 2006, Costa Rica was a founder member of the Central American Cricket Championships (CAC), finishing third behind Belize and Mexico, in Belize. Subsequent CAC Championships were held in Mexico in 2007, which beat CR and El Salvador; in 2009 at the Los Reyes Polo Club in Costa Rica, won by Panama, ahead of Mexico, Belize, CR and El Salvador; and 4CAC in 2013 in Mexico, won by Mexico with CR second, ahead of Mexico B and Hollywood Golden Oldies. 5CAC is to be held in Panama in March 2015. In 2010, CR played in ICC Americas Division 4 in Mexico, which was won by Mexico, by beating CR and the Falkland Islands. In 2011, Costa Rica hosted ICC Americas Division 3, in which Belize, Peru, Chile, Mexico, CR and Falklands competed, finishing in that order. CR also hosted two ICC Americas formerly annual Development Forums, in 2005 and 2011.
After the D3 tournament, CRCF concluded that its top down strategy of league and international matches as a means of resuscitating Cricket in the country had not been effective, nor had attracted hoped for numbers of new and national players to the sport, so it changed direction. It switched to a bottom up system and has focused on the development of youth cricket, which has gone from being taught in five schools in 2008 to fifty at the end of 2013 and is projected to reach 100 in 2014. The main external input to that progress was from the Regional Director of Education for Limon Province, who encouraged Cricket in Limon schools and colleges, on her own initiative, before it was included in the Ministry of Education’s syllabus. In the same period, the number of Boys and (subsequently) Girls teams competing in National Inter-Scholar Cricket Tournaments has increased from five to forty-five and junior “involvement” rose from less than 200 to over 5,000. In 2013, the Minister of Education officially authorized the use of Cricket as an option for PE teachers in all educational centres and, separately, Cricket was recognized by the CR Olympic Committee.
Numerous educational courses have been held in CR or been attended by its’ members elsewhere in the Region. The principal providers of professional expertise have been ICC Americas and instructors from Trinidad & Tobago. CRCF has its own group of Development Service Providers, mostly graduates from introduction and coaching courses, run either by imported experts or lately internally. In the first quarter in each of three years 2012-2014, CRCF has organized one-week sleepover Camps for 20 to 25 teachers and/or students at the EARTH University for tropical agriculture in Limon province, which also has a Cricket Club, the most recent being for young Girls, reflecting increasing emphasis on feminine involvement.
The lead financial support for the Camps has come from the British Embassy, with assists from the Embassy of Trinidad & Tobago and ICC Americas. In addition to these important sources, CRCF also benefits notably from CR Government funding by ICODER and corporate sponsors such as global port operators APM Terminals (Moin) and Baden Services Corp. Past sponsors and donors can be seen on CR website www.costaricacricket.org. Until recently, the input of CRCF officers and development personnel was on a voluntary basis, but to cope with the significant influx of new applications to deliver Cricket in schools, colleges and universities, that has all changed and CRCF now needs more training for and numbers of paid development staff, resulting in sharply increased funding requirements to fuel its’ continuing expansion.