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Cricket in Sweden: Q&A with Shahzeb Choudhry

Cricket in Sweden: Q&A with Shahzeb Choudhry

Published: 27 Jul 2012 15:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Jul 2012 18:58 GMT+02:00

The Local's Salomon Rogberg talks to Shahzeb Choudry of the Swedish Cricket Federation to review the state of the wicket in the Swedish cricketing world.

The Local: When did people start playing cricket in Sweden?

Choudhry Shahzeb: The Swedish Cricket Federation (SCF) was founded in the 1990s. Initially there were four or five clubs but today there are twenty-six clubs with around 1,500 members spread across the country in diverse places like Umeå, Stockholm, Linköping, Jönköping, Lund, Eskilstuna, Landksrona, Gothenburg and Malmö.

TL: Who plays cricket in Sweden?

CS: 80 percent are expats from cricket-playing countries like South Africa, New Zealand, England, India, Pakistan and Australia, but also Swedish people are starting to play.

RELATED GALLERY:CRICKET IN SWEDEN

TL: Who can play?

CS: Anybody can play. We have people as young as seven and as old as 45. In fact we’re always looking for people to join since we really want to become a member of the Swedish Sports Confederation (Riksidrottsförbundet) as it would help us to get funding that we really need to continue to promote cricket in Sweden.

TL: How many teams and divisions are there in Sweden?

CS: There are two divisions. The first division has thirteen teams and everyone plays against each other. In the second division there are currently six teams who also play one home and one away game. There are of course also extra games in the cups we have throughout the year.

TL: How many games do you play each month?

CS: Overall we play four games per month. But sometimes we play against two teams on one week-end because of the distance between the clubs. For example my team played Gothenburg and Lund on the same weekend.

TL: Is cricket played differently in Sweden?

CS: Internationally, there are three types of cricket matches. First, there is the five day test match, only played by professional teams in ten competing countries. Then there’s the one day format and the Twenty20 cricket, which only takes three hours. The latter two are the formats we play in Sweden.

TL: Sweden isn't known for its clement climate - what happens then, where do you play, when it’s cold?

CS: The most important thing for a cricket game is good weather. You don’t want to play with dark clouds over you. So, in the winter we play indoors. It’s basically a new thing. But more and more people are trying it out.

TL: Doesn't playing cricket indoors change the game?

CS: It’s quite different, yes. You play with six players instead of eleven and because the ball is hard, you have to play in a hall without any glass. Also the game becomes very fast, which means you have to catch the ball swiftly and run quick. But the basic principles are the same.

TL: So...are you any good?

CS: Our team, the Stockholm Academics Cricket Society, SACS, wasn’t that good a few years ago. We didn’t have many players and not even a full team at times, but now we’re the biggest club in Sweden.

TL: What’s your best cricketing memory?

CS: That would be winning the Twenty20 championship last year. We played against Malmöhus CC and we went close to the wire, only winning by two runs. That’s as close as it gets in a cricket game.

TL: So, what's the latest in the world of Swedish cricket?

CS: Well, Nacka CC and Sigtuna CC will compete in the national league final on 10am on Saturday July 28th at Sigtuna Cricket Club's ground. We’ve sent lots of invites to people and are expecting at least 80-90 people. It’s not a huge turnout but for us it is significant. We’ve also arranged canapés with food and drinks and music.

Also, Sweden’s national team will be playing in the ICC Europe Division 2 tournament in Greece from September 2nd to September 10th.

Salomon Rogberg

Editor's note: Nacka CC won the title, beating Sigtuna by 23 runs in the July 28th final.

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Your comments about this article

17:27 July 27, 2012 by Great Scott
A real game coming to Sweden great, I hope the bars will be open on a Sunday afternoons.
17:53 July 27, 2012 by Ranjit T Edward
@Great Scott: . If only we could get Systembolaget to be the sponsors!

Way back in 2006 I did try introducing it to friends in Ulricehamn. Unfortunately, the day I chose was just not appropriate. Midsummer! We did manage to get some cricket before Vodka took over!
17:54 July 27, 2012 by taimy
Interesting article and good to see people in Sweden showing interest for Cricket, surely, a gentlemen game :-)

However, it is little bit disappointing to see that the name of Pakistan is missing in Q1: TL: Who plays cricket in Sweden?

If you look at the Swedish Cricket Federation webpage, you will find 80% of this 80% is from Pakistan. Only 2 clubs Stockholm tigers (Bangladesh) and BCA (British, Jamaican, etc.) who is solely non-Pakistani.
18:02 July 27, 2012 by Iri
I know most of the clubs around Stockholm are run and owned by the Pakistanis and Afghanis.. Pakistan has much contribution in the world of cricket.. TL its sad ....
18:08 July 27, 2012 by khattana
I agree with "tai my" . If you ask someone here in southern sweden about cricket.

You will get the answer as the game of Pakistanis but in this article he hasn't mentioned Pakistan. Anyway it's quite good to hear about cricket through "The local".
18:21 July 27, 2012 by Ugly Indian
Agreed with above comments after checking Swedish cricket Webpage i found out that the Chairman of Swedish Cricket is also from Pakistan born Swedish TL so sad

However good to know Cricket in Sweden is spreading rapidly.
18:24 July 27, 2012 by faizans80
Answer to question1.

If you visit website of Swedish Cricket federation, you will see only Pakistani and Indian names among board members.

If You visit member clubs, other than BCA (in DIV II), you dont see any club owned and run by a non-asian group.

In short, People with origin from Pakistan makes over 80% of cricketers in Sweden. The rest of 20% are also either Indians or Bangalis and only few from other nations.

This guy Shahzeb was either not well informed or he presented wrong facts. In both cases, it is not so good. If so, such people don't deserve to be interviewed.

If it is mistake my the editor, please be careful in such matters. A nation contributing to the society with some healthy activity must be appreciated and acknowledged.

I am offended, as being Pakistani and as being one of the player.
18:54 July 27, 2012 by sacs
it says ''cricket-playing countries like''... maybe he should've mentioned the other 200 countries that play Cricket as well. People are forgetting that the interview was about SWEDISH CRICKET...
19:25 July 27, 2012 by Ugly Indian
Good that TL has added Pakistan name in question 1 otherwise the interviewer could have been in trouble in 80% Pakistani Cricket Community :D :D :D
19:42 July 27, 2012 by masbab
@SACS: Question was not which are "Crciket Playing countries". The question was who plays cricket in Sweden.

@Ugly Indian: hahahah .....you know when the conversation started there was no Pakistan in any question.

Clever TheLoacl.
20:07 July 27, 2012 by Paul_225
This is superb, it would integrate people much better, imagine Sweden becoming a competent cricket team!
23:49 July 27, 2012 by faizans80
@SACS, It was not about Swedish cricket, it was about "who plays cricket in Sweden". lame comment to justify wrong facts mentioned. duhh !!!
04:02 July 28, 2012 by farooqaziz86
This thread is a snapshot of the reasons we Pakistanis have achieved nothing of note in the world. We are arrogant and heady but have nothing to show for ourselves, which makes us stupid and pityful in front of the whole world. I understand i am making a few generalizations but for all us one-eyed people to point out in an article was the missing name of Pakistan - which i believe could have been missed due to an honest mistake - represents us as self-obsessed idiots. Get a life, for god sake. The whole world hates us. And i am so angry because i am normal, but i have to bear the brunt because other people generalise based on the ample evidence that you trolls provide. GET A LIFE GET A LIFE.. I AM WAITING TO BE BRANDED A TURNCOAT, ATHEIST, LIBERAL AND MUCH MORE..

regards,

farooq
10:06 July 28, 2012 by Peaceful Muslim
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:05 July 28, 2012 by Sven the banana
#Peaceful muslim

What is wrong about being an atheist and liberal? You just offended atheism!!!!

Why don't you muslims just convert to buddhism or another less extreme religion if you have to be so f**king religous all the time!
00:54 July 29, 2012 by muscle
@Peaceful Muslim

I myself am a Pakistani. But I must say, the attitude you have shown here does not match with your username. I really hate to say this, such intolerance gives other people a chance to say bad about the religion.

Let people express their views and discuss, not insult, even if others are doing something to you. If you are a Muslim, you need to respect others views and show tolerance.
11:47 August 1, 2012 by HRB
I have been reading The Local from some years, first time there is a news about Cricket and this is the first time I am commenting on some news here :)

I live in Luleå and we have two Cricket Clubs in Luleå. Unfortunately we have no proper cricket ground here but still we are keeping this sport alive in Luleå. We play throughout the year, both indoor and outdoor.

The last thing to add is that in both clubs, Pakistani players are in majority. But we have some players from Bangladesh, Australia and India as well.
16:02 August 1, 2012 by Peaceful Muslim
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:24 August 2, 2012 by Sven the banana
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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