Croatia national cricket team
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|ICC membership granted||2001|
|ICC member status||Affiliate member|
|ICC development region||Europe|
|World Cricket League division||n/a|
|First recorded match||21 August 2000 v Finland at Seebarn, Austria|
|As of 9 October 2009|
Croatia have been a regular participant in the European Cricket Council's various tournaments, starting in 2000 with the ECC Representative Championships, the fourth tier of European competition. They finished as runners up to Norway in that tournament. They hosted the same tournament two years later, where they finished third behind Finland and Slovenia, but then won the 2004 tournament.
ECC Trophy / ICC Europe Championships
They also competed in the ECC Trophy in 2001, 2003 but failed to achieve results they were capable of and finished just off the bottom of the ladder on both occasions.
In 2004 ICC Europe reorganised its competition structure, creating four divisions – of which Croatia fell into Division 4. The team made a clean sweep of the ICC Europe Division 4 Championship held that year in Ljubljana, Slovenia, beating the hosts Slovenia, newcomers Bulgaria and old rivals in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Finland. Victory meant automatic promotion to Division 3.
The team's first appearance in the 9-team Division 3, held in Belgium in August 2005, was successful from the point of view that they managed to finish in 7th place and thereby avoid the two bottom two places which meant automatic relegation back to the lower division whence they came, as ICC Europe restructured its competitions again, this time creating 5 divisions of six nations each, European Championship. The team returned to Belgium in 2007 for another crack at Division 3. This time they were better prepared and organised, and despite a number of injuries went through the tournament undefeated after narrowly beating Spain (by 4 runs) in a thrilling final – to earn the right to play against Israel for a place in the dizzy heights of Division 2.
In another close finish the team beat Israel by 5 runs in Tel Aviv in November to earn a spot in Division 2, which was played in Guernsey in 2008. The step-up in standard of the higher division proved a little too much and the team left the island without a victory in the competition, and the prospect of another play-off match to avoid relegation back to Division 3.
Promotion / Relegation
Croatia narrowly defeated Israel by 5 runs in Tel Aviv in November 2007 in a play-off match for the sixth place in the European Division 2 Championship. This match shall be recorded in history as the first official international cricket match played in Israel since the formation of the modern Israeli state.
In October 2009 Croatia and Israel met again for a play-off match to decide who will fill the sixth spot in the ICC Europe Division 2 Championship to be played in 2010. Israel ran out comfortable winners in a rain-affected match played in Zagreb. Croatia now returns to ICC Europe Division 3, and will take part in the championship in 2011.
The Croatian Cricket Federation also sent a representative side (Croatia 'A') to take part in the 2008 Euro Twenty-20 tournament held by Carmel & District Cricket Club in North Wales. Croatia recorded victories over Slovakia and Carmel but lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Estonia, to finish in fourth spot.
The Croatia 'A' team returned to Carmel in July 2009 for the second edition of the Euro Twenty-20 tournament. This time team beat Bulgaria but lost to the Isle of Alderney and Russia in the group stage to be relegated to the 'Plate' competition. Victories against Hungary in the semi-final and New Victoria CC in the Plate final gave the team its first silverware. Croatia A's Nikola Davidović was also named the bowler of the tournament.
Croatia 'A' played a friendly match against Ireland 'A' in Dublin on 19 July 2009. Ireland ran out comfortable winners by 133 runs.
MCC Tour of August 2009
The MCC toured Croatia from 2 August until 7 August, the first match commencing on 3 August between a Croatian Development XI and the MCC (Limited Overs), the match was a 75 run win to the visitors (MCC 8/280 v Croatia 5/205), a notable performance by C.Sinovich scoring 116 with the bat and taking 1 for 53 off 7 overs. The second match, on 4 August, was between the MCC and Croatian Presidents XI (Twenty20), the result was a dismal performance by the Croatian team, losing the match by 127 runs (MCC 2/264 v Croatia 5/137), R Turner top scoring for the visitors with 179, putting together a partnership with M.Marvell of 251 for the second wicket. V. Sharma was the only notable performer for Croatia with figures of 1 for 22 off 4 overs. For the fourth match of the series (played on 5 August), the MCC played a Croatian national team (Limited Overs) who made 9/187 off their allotted overs, but losing by 6 wickets, MCC reaching 4/188 off 27.3 overs. C.Wear top scoring for the locals with 62 (second highest for the match behind T.Hicks with 84). The fifth and final game was played on 6 August, with a Sir William Hoste XI playing the visitors (twenty20 format). With the hosts being held to 7/81 off their allotted overs, an easy win to the MCC making 2/82 with 10.3 overs remaining. All matches being played in Vis on an artificial surface.