First ever cricket match held in Serbia
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 10:45 AM
The first ever cricket match to be played in Serbia took place on Friday June 5, in the village of Karlovcic, 30 kilometers west of Belgrade. The match was held between a Belgrade city selection and the Carmel and District Cricket Club from North Wales.
The Belgrade team comprised of 10 Serbs and 3 expats: Amberish Sarang from India (later nominated the man of the match), Nasir Mohammad (son of the Pakistani ambassador) and Ian Bancroft (the Isle of Man)
Opening the batting for Carmel and District CC was Marshall who went on to score an impressive 52 out of the 172 run total. Strong bowling performances from Sarang (3 wickets), Dajc, Pantellic and Nasir (2 wickets each) saw Carmel & District CC all out with 18 balls to spare.
Chasing a target of 172, Nasir and Sarang were again the most influential players for the local team each scoring 38 runs (twelve 4s between them) before both being dismissed by Van Es. However; it was Carmel’s Abraham who imposed the most damage taking four wickets in the match contributing to Belgrade’s 107 total.
Despite the loss, the match proved that Serbian sides can indeed compete against much better and more experienced teams from the UK. The one-off fixture also showed that cricket is indeed a sport which can draw people together with 150-200 people, mostly from the village of Karlovcic and the surrounding villages all attending. A raffle was also organized for the village children on the day.
Given the unique nature of the event, there was extensive media coverage by the Serbian news agency BETA who then distributed the story to other newspapers, internet portals and TV stations (RTS, B92, Veèernje Novosti, Glas Javnosti, Na Dlanu net portal, Associated Press, and local newspapers).
The next step for Serbian cricket is progressing local clubs and forming the Serbian Cricket Council, as well as initiating youth programmes in various Belgrade high schools. A domestic championship and at least one more international match are also in the plans