Tajikistan Cricket Federation
CRICKET IN TAJIKISTAN
Hemmed in by towering mountain peaks, a harsh continental climate full of extremes of hot and cold and a turbulent history including everything from Soviet Rule, bloody civil wars and political violence, Tajikistan seems like a very unlikely place to play cricket. Historically, both the Soviet authorities and Bolshevik revolutionaries disapproved of the sport and considered it as a “bourgeois, shameful game” unfit for the working classes. Even though the origins of cricket in Tajikistan are largely unknown, there are eyewitness accounts of cricket being played on the pastures, amongst some shepherds in the 1960s. However, the success & fairy tale rise of next-door neighbour Afghanistan has caused a re-birth of Tajik cricket since the 2010s. Tajikistan Cricket Federation was formed in 2011 and the board gained associate membership with the Asian Cricket Council in 2012. In 2013, the national cricket team played their inaugural set of games, squaring off against Afghanistan A in two one-day matches and one T20. The cricket board has ambitious plans, which include T10 League competitions, introduction of cricket to more schools and instalment of turf pitches. The board is hopeful that these measures will ultimately lead to full ICC Membership and World Cup Qualification in the future.