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Cricket in Finland has a longer history than you would imagine. The first game on record was played at the Olympic stadium in 1952 and then later in the 1960s by the Palmerston Society which played in Tapiola (near Helsinki). Cricket then began to organise itself in the 1970s under the auspices of the Helsinki Cricket Club, the oldest existing club in Finland. The Finnish Cricket Association (FCA) was formed in 1999.
In 2006, Finland topped the ICC European Division 4 Championship. The team was lead by Timo Ilva, who has been a consistent performer in the domestic scene as well as in European Championships. Other notable performers included Amrik Bhatia, who won the player of the tournament award. This success gained it promotion to Division 3 the following year, but it won just one out of three games to find themselves relegated straight back to Division 4. Its 2009 European Championship Division 4 campaign in Cyprus was another disappointment as it won one match out of five to finish in fifth place.
The FCA junior programme is based on two things. One is a regular school visit to introduce cricket to new groups and to run schools, cricket clubs and parts of the PE curriculum, and the other is the ongoing Young National Team programme. The latter is an academy-type programme for all enthusiastic, committed and talented youngsters to get into a system of structured and semi-professional coaching, and then get the opportunity to move on to the senior national team, if and when the time is right. The schools' programme aims to help the clubs start junior programmes and thus build their existence on a firmer base.
After receiving official status as a sport through the Ministry of Education and Sport in 2006, maintaining the development programme has become more manageable as the new status also opened more funding opportunities from the state.
There is a developing domestic structure in Finland with formats comprising of SM50 (the first division), SM40 (the second division), Developmental T20 League, Open T20 League and Indoor League. In addition, a youth national team and ladies team (Phoenix) are looking to make their mark.