Japan Cricket Association
CRICKET IN JAPAN
Like many countries, Japan was introduced to cricket by the British in the 1860s, but it was not until the 1980s that it began to lay its own roots with the creation of the Japan Cricket Association. The Kanto University League was established under the JCA in 1990 which was followed by the Gunma Cup (a two-day competition) and the Miyagimura Cup (40-over competition) and various other competitions were established across the country. After several restructures, the Miyagimura Cup evolved into the Japan Cricket League as the core 40 over domestic competition, while the Japan Cup, established in 2010, is the National T20 competition with regional qualifiers to National Finals and ultimately the Japan Premier League (established 2014). In 2001 the JCA became an NPO and appointed Naoki Alex Miyaji as it's first CEO in 2008 who began the strategy of creating “Cities of Cricket” throughout Japan. Although the Japan Men began playing internationals in 1996 as part of the Asia Cricket Council (grabbing attention in their first tournament as Tetsuro Fuji took wickets with successive deliveries against Bangladesh, bowling with different arms) Japan was later placed into the East Asia Pacific Region of the ICC Development Programme. International success for Japan men came in the ICC EAP Cricket Cup, winning in both 2005 and 2007. The latter victory meant Japan competed in the World Cricket League from 2008 – 2012 where they also enjoyed moderate success. Japan women travelled to Holland in 2003 for their first matches, a series of One Day Internationals as part of the World Cup Qualifier. These remain the only ODIs played by the Japanese men or women. The Women gained more headlines by winning a Bronze Medal at the Asian Games in 2010, behind Pakistan and Bangladesh, and then defeating Zimbabwe the following year in a World Cup Qualifier, Japan’s first victory against an ICC Full Member. In 2015 Japan partnered with China, Hong Kong and South Korea to create the East Asia Cup, a tournament played every year between 2015 - 2019, alternating between men and women, and Japan Men were victorious in the 2018 edition. The closest the women have come is Runners Up in 2017. Japan’s most recent success came in 2019 when their newly formed Under 19 team played and won its first regional qualifier in eight years and travelled to the Under 19 World Cup in South Africa. This milestone came as a direct result of firstly the Cricket Blast programme, founded in 2014 for Under 12s, and then the formalising the Under 15 and Under 19 junior leagues in 2016. Although the young Japan team failed to win a game, this was further proof of the youth focused approach the JCA has taken during the last decade promises to hold the sport in good stead for the future.
First men’s international matches: Asian Cricket Council Trophy, 1996 Major international victories: 2005 ICC EAP Cricket Cup, Vanuatu 2007 ICC EAP Cricket Trophy, Auckland 2018 East Asia Cup, Hong Kong Leading men’s international players: Tetsuo Fuji (1996-2008) - took consecutive wickets with both arms against Bangladesh in 1996 ACC Trophy, Jummei Hanada (1998 - 2005), Naoki Miyaji (2001-2013), Tetsuro Chino (2004-2012), Masaomi “Amigo” Kobayashi (2005-Present), Takuro Hagihara (2007-2017), Naotsune “Bebe” Miyaji (2009-Present), Makoto Taniyama (2012-Present), Marcus Thurgate (2016-present / U19 Captain 2019/20), Kazumasa Takahashi (2018-present – youngest ever player at 15yrs and 1 day) League formats: Kanto Men’s University Championship: T20, • Japan Cricket League: 40-Over, three divisions, Japan Cup: T20, regional, seven regions, Japan Premier League: T20, Representative Teams, J-BASH: T20, Representative Teams World Cricket League history: 2008 WCL Division Five (10th / 12), 2009 WCL Division Seven (4th / 6), 2011 WCL Division Seven (6th/6), 2012 WCL Division Eight (3rd / 8) World Cup history: U19 CWC 2020
First women's international matches: 2003 IWCC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, Netherlands (ODI) Major international victories: 2010 ICC Women’s East Asia Trophy, Japan. Winners 2010 Asia Games, Guangzhou, Bronze Medal 2011 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier, Bangladesh defeated Zimbabwe Leading women’s international players: Ema Kuribayashi (2003-2014), Shizuka Kubota (2003-2014), Mariko Yamamoto (2006-2014), Shizuka Miyaji (2006-Present), Kurumi Ota (2010-2017), Ayako Nakayama (2010-2016), Katrina Keenan (2010) – Previously played for NZ, Miho Kanno (2010-Present) League formats: Kanto Women’s University Championship: T20, Japan Women’s League: T20 World Cup history: N/A
Sano International Cricket Ground (above) Fuji Cricket Ground Sammu Cricket Ground Kaizuka Cricket Field