History of cricket
The first mention of cricket being played was in the 1920s and 1930s when, according to anecdotal evidence, one of the Falkland Island Company managers brought some stumps, bats and balls to the country. Several people remember playing tip and run as children on Victory Green and at Goose Green. Occasional matches were played between Stanley and various visiting ships such as HMS Exeter and there was also mention in newspapers of occasional matches during World War II against the resident military garrison, the Yorkshire Regiment.
Stanley Cricket Club was active during the 1960s and 1970s, playing matches against the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, the predecessor of the British Antarctic Survey, and virtually every naval ship that called into port. A Railway Club team from Buenos Aires came to Stanley from 1966 to 1968 period. Most were Anglo-Argentines whose parents worked for the Argentine railway system.
Cricket then disappeared from the Falklands until 1989 when the Governor's XI versus the Commander British Forces' XI series started. This was one match, usually held around Christmas, and the Governor's team would normally have a couple of practice sessions beforehand at the Community School field. This series came to be known as the South Atlantic Ashes.
A group of cricket enthusiasts started to play as best they could on the Community School field every Wednesday evening (six-a-side competitions were held with eight teams competing) during the summer and this group then formed the Falkland Island Cricket Association (FICA) in 2001.
Sponsorship was obtained from a number of sources and this allowed for the construction of cricket nets and the purchase of more equipment. Affiliate Membership of the ICC was gained in June 2007.
International cricket and developing the game
In 2003, with assistance from the Shackleton Fund, FICA was able to arrange for Warren Stott, a former New Zealand Test player, to come to the Falklands for two weeks of coaching, which provided an added impetus to the cricket scene. In December 2004, the Falklands sent a team to the Santiago Cricket Festival and played three matches against Chile I, Chile II & I Zingari. The tour was extremely enjoyable and allowed the development of good links with the Chilean Cricket Association. That year also saw the Governor v CBF series expand from one game to a three-match series, which has now become the standard format.
Falkland Islands played its first major international tournament in June 2010 when it competed in the ICC Americas Championship Division Four in Mexico. Its historic opening fixture saw it achieve a victory over Costa Rica, with captain Elliott Taylforth claiming a hat trick.
After losing its next match to Mexico, it had to settle for second place in the table before its vanquishers. A subsequent Twenty20 tournament saw less success, however, as it lost to both Mexico and Costa Rica.