Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world (soccer taking top honors), however, in Colombia, it is relatively unknown, and primarily played by foreigners. Only a small number of Colombians know and enjoy playing cricket. There are teams based in Bogotá, Cali and Medellín that play and tour semi-regularly. Colombia hosted the 2018 South American Championships and more recently international teams from Panama and Sri Lanka attended an invitational tournament at Los Pinos Polo Club in Mosquera. The October 2021 tournament was inaugurated by the municipality’s Sport Secretariat Albeiro Rodríguez.
The informally recognized Cricket Colombia Project (CCP) has ambitions to raise awareness about cricket in Colombia, and to introduce it to more Colombians, increasing participation across all ages and genders. This will provide many positive opportunities for Colombians. Opportunities that are positive socially, with health and in education, particularly through language exchange.
The 2021 The Cricket Colombia Project has seen increased knowledge and participation in cricket by Colombian students at the bilingual Liceo de Colombia Bilingüe school in the north of Bogotá. Other international schools across the country are also showing interest in undertaking similar cricket-based education initiatives.
Cricket Colombia aims to apply for Associate member status in 2022 of the International Cricket Council (ICC) giving the CCP an opportunity to obtain funding from the ICC and, thereby, begin developing formalized school-based cricket programs. To do this, the ICC requires written endorsement from the Colombian Government that “Cricket Colombia is the primary governing body of the sport in the territory.” Conversations have started between MinDeporte (Ministry of Sport) and representatives of the project.
In 2022, there are plans to host school-based tournaments and a foreign Embassies Cup in Bogotá. This will be a great way to showcase the game to a wider Colombian audience, and to also satisfy ICC participation requirements. Cricket is also being introduced to school students in cities and towns on the Caribbean coast and will be beneficial for students in less-privileged communities.
If you’re a lover of cricket and are interested in playing the game either in Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali and Medellín you can contact @cricketcolombia via its Instagram page or contribute to the Cricket Colombia Project with donations through the Rotary eClub of Global Trekkers website.