From Snowboarding to Cricket in Norway
Tue, Jun 10, 2014 12:10 PM
The Pepsi ICC Europe Division 2 heads to Essex this month, the tournament which will be a pathway event to the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, brings together some of the most interesting cricketing cultures across Europe.
Norway a country sat up in northern Europe holds many different stories in the national team of those journeys into cricket. With many different people moving around the world and experiencing new countries and cultures, cricket brings together different cultures.
Norway's Damon Crawford tells his story.
I grew up in Waikerie, a small town of 1500 people in country South Australia. Both of my parents were into sport, playing cricket and hockey. Being the oldest of 3 brothers there was a lot of backyard cricket and a few broken windows.
As a junior in the country were all very into our sport. To the point that getting the sports shop catalogue inside the newspaper was an anticipated event.
Moving to the city kids weren't quite as into it but I got some good opportunities in both cricket and hockey with good coaches and facilities. I played a lot of junior cricket but had a bit more success with hockey playing State level, so when I started training with that for most of the year cricket eventually took a back seat and I stopped playing.
So from around 1999 until 2007 I didn't play any cricket apart from the odd backyard game as I concentrated on hockey. I met a Norwegian girl studying in Australia and a couple years later I moved with her to Oslo. I thought I'd just be snowboarding or maybe trying to play ice hockey as I had no idea that cricket even existed here.
Ironically, the first non Norwegian I met was another Australian guy working at the local ski resort who asked me if I played cricket. Before I knew it I was playing cricket again, bowling for the Oslo Aliens against the crew of a visiting British battleship. Our club is quite multicultural. Moving to any new country will always be hard, so for me the cricket club provided a great way for me to meet a group of guys; it is such a social sport and breaks down many barriers in society.
Over the years our team got better and we made it to the top division. During that time I re-kindled my love of the game and have put a fair bit of effort into improving. I eventually played well enough and in 2013 made my debut for the national team.
My biggest obstacle is usually not damaging myself snowboarding over the winter. Quite often I've started the season in May recovering from a broken bone or sprain.
I am amazed at the level that people are into cricket in Norway. The increase in participation over the years has been huge. Judging by the number of small cricket games you see around various parts of the city the interest for the sport is large; the sport has a bright future here.
To find out more about Norweigien cricket http://www.cricketforbundet.no/