Bowled over missing your fave sport? YLC pushed the boundary and got the lowdown from Stockholm team KTH Cricket on playing in Sweden and whether you have to know your golden duck from your LBW to join in.
At some point, many expats in Stockholm find themselves missing the sport they followed or played back home. But being a multi-cultural city with several universities and expats from all over, Stockholm offers many opportunities to join in on the sports of your choosing. If the “gentleman’s game” is your cup of (cricket) tea you’ll be happy to hear that YOUR living city is the home of several teams.
One such team is the newly minted KTH Cricket, founded by Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) PhD student Sethu Saveda Suvanam. Suvanam, the chairman of the team, first came to Sweden from India in 2010 to do his Masters at the university. Missing the sport, he joined a Stockholm side, but after some time decided to form a team of his own. Today the team is made up of a mix of students and staff working both within the Royal Institute of Technology and the IT industries.
Although initial difficulties involved attracting members as well as sponsors (the latter of which KTH Cricket is still working on), Suvanam says he perseveres because of his passion for the game.
YLC: Were the original sides in Stockholm receptive to new teams?
In general most of the teams have been quite receptive to us, helping out with both logistic and practical issues that we have encountered. But I think that a small number of teams may have felt worried they could be losing their top players to new teams forming. However, I am confident that this will work itself out in time as cricket starts developing in Sweden and more players join.
Who can play with you? Are you open to new members? What if one hasn’t ever played before?
We are open to new members both on skilled and beginners levels. In fact, we have expanded from 14 full members to 25 within a span of 2 months. Anyone is welcome to join our training sessions with our coach, Mr Harshendra (a former Macedonian National team player) every Tuesday at Husby Cricket Ground from 5.30pm.
Hmm, we might just take you up on that! So, what level cricket do you play?
There are two divisions in Swedish cricket at the moment and we are currently playing in Division II. We might also get promoted to a higher division after winning this year’s Division II T20 league.
What about the Swedes? Are they interested in cricket?
There is a growing interest among Swedes in cricket. As a university team, we find that many Swedish exchange students go to cricketing nations for a semester or two and bring an interest in cricket back with them.
So, is there really any international interest in Swedish cricket?
In the past few years Swedish cricket has been doing remarkably well. Last year the national team were the runners up in the ICC Division 2 Europe Twenty/20 and gained promotion into ICC Division 1 Europe Twenty/20, where they competed with some of Europe’s top cricketing teams.
Do you think cricket could compare as a competitive sport of choice for Swedish children?
Cricket is still quite a new sport in Sweden but the interest in the sport is growing on all levels and the Swedish Cricket Federation is putting in great effort to bring cricket into schools and involve young Swedes in the game.
Is this really a family friendly sport? Can you make a family day of it?
Cricket is definitely a family sport. Where I am from, family and friends of players traditionally come along during a game and make a family day of it, while having a barbecue.
To join a KTH Cricket training session, the venue is Husby Cricket Ground on Tuesdays at 5.30pm. For more information email KTH Cricket on [email protected].
Other cricket teams in and around Stockholm: