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History of cricket in Sweden
The first cricket club in Sweden, Stockholm Cricket Club, was established in 1948 with most of its players from the West Indies. Back in those days staff from various embassies started playing Cricket which became a regular thing in the 70s.
The Swedish Cricket Federation (SCF) was formed in 1990. The driving force behind it was Guttsta Cricket Club. The Swedish Cricket Federation became a Member of the ICC in 1991.
Cricket in Sweden is played mostly by expatriates, some of whom have subsequently become Swedish nationals. Due to changes in regulations regarding the numbers of natives that a national side must field, during the 1990s the Swedish national team struggled to participate in ICC tournaments and interest in the game was lost. The SCF then went through a process of reviving the Swedish national side after depreciation in numbers through the 1990s, in order that it could participate in the European tournaments once again.
Most recently in 2011, Sweden won the ICC Europe Division 3 competition in Slovenia and also participated in the ICC Division 2 Europe Twenty20 in Brussels, Belgium. In 2012 Team Sweden traveled to Corfu, Greece to participate in European T20 Cricket Division 2 where they finished 2nd in the competition and gained promotion to ICC Europe Division 1 at the same time. In 2013 team Sweden travelled to England where they participated in ICC Europe Division 1 and competed against teams like Italy, Germany, Belgium, Guernsey, and Norway. The next ICC organised competition in which the senior men’s team is scheduled to participate will be held in 2016.
Swedish Cricket Federation currently have 40 clubs as its members and estimated to have around 2500 players. The SCF is growing at a steady pace and with the current support of International Cricket council the growth has been phenomenal, especially in the last 5 to 6 years. There are more and more youngsters from many different backgrounds taking up the sport. With this growth SCF has been able to spread the game of Cricket in all corners of the country from all corners of the country, Umeä and Luleä to Mälmö and Göteborg. There are three senior divisions in the national league and two youth leagues of U15 and U20. The main focus these days is on Twenty20 Cricket but there is also a 40 over competition that all teams participate at senior levels. During summer months, there are competitions for youngsters to play outdoor hard-ball Cricket as well as indoor competitions during winter. There are currently 15 Cricket grounds in Sweden.
With support from ICC, Swedish Cricket federation have set-up indoor competitions for youth teams which run over the winter in different parts of the country. There is also ongoing programmes for girls Cricket. Local school visits are often organised, which consists of a whole day introducing Cricket to kids in a fun and informal way.
SCF participate in many sports events to showcase Cricket to a wider audience in the country. These events are usually well attended by the general public and the local press which gives a good opportunity to promote Cricket.
SCF also organises umpiring courses and over the last 4 years multiple ICC Level 1 courses have been delivered by qualified instructors throughout the country. To increase the number of coaches, introductory coaching courses in Cricket have been organised by SCF on many occasions. This has helped many local players as well as PE teachers from various schools to gain necessary knowledge to teach Cricket to children at clubs and schools.