Uruguayan Cricket Association
CRICKET IN URUGUAY
Tucked in between the giant South American nations of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay has a surprisingly long cricket history, with records of cricket being played in the 1840s. The first cricket club was established by British expatriates in 1842. Remarkably this club still exists today, under the guise of Montevideo Cricket Club (MVCC) having undergone a name change in 1861. It was at MVCC home’s home ground at La Blanqueda, that Uruguay also made its international cricket debut. In 1868, the national team squared off against Argentina in a game that pre-dated The Ashes by 14 years. During the 1900s, Uruguay underwent a massive wave of immigration, with settlers coming from all over Europe and the Middle East. Out of all these immigrant groups, only the English and Scottish played cricket. Therefore, it was inevitable that football would go on to become the multicultural vehicle of integration for Uruguayan society. The national football team dominated internationally by winning the South American Championships in 1916 and achieving a Gold Medal Double at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. The icing on the cake was achieving by clinching the inaugural FIFA World Cup Title in 1930. Football’s overwhelming success and popularity in Uruguay meant that cricket rapidly faded into obscurity. Still, the country was graced with MCC tours in 1926 and 1938. The 1926 party included eminent English cricket figures such as Plum Warner as well as future UK Prime Minister Alec Douglas Home. On both occasions, the hosts were roundly thrashed with HL Pennock the only one providing some resistance with bat and ball. The Uruguay vs Argentina cricket rivalry also continued until 1939, with the sides playing each other 29 times. The last recorded instance of cricket was in the 1960s, after which the sport completely vanished. It took until the 2000s for it to re-emerge, with the unlikely saviours being an Irishman named John Biscomb and some Indian expatriates working for TATA Consulting in Montevideo. In 2007, the Uruguayan Cricket Association was set up. A domestic tape ball league was started in 2012, with over 100 active players (primarily of Indian origin) taking part. In 2018, the Uruguayan national cricket team marked their 150th Anniversary year in style by finishing runners up in the 8 team South American Cricket Championships, ahead of the likes of Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Argentina “A”, Brazil and Chile. Recently, the cricket community have benefited from the valuable assistance provided by Argentina Cricket’s CEO Esteban McDermott. Uruguay’s most famous football club, Peñarol, have also restarted their cricket team, a full 90 years since they abandoned it. The cricket board’s future goals include developing new facilities, broadening participation in the game and achieving ICC Associate Member status.
First men’s international match: vs. Argentina at La Blanqueda, 1868 Major international victories: vs. Mexico, Bedes, 2017 vs. Brazil, Los Pinos Polo Club, Colombia, 2018 Leading men’s international players: HL Pennock, Girish HN Bharadwaj, Deeshan Vasagiri, Boopathy Ravi, Gokul G League formats: T20 World Cricket League / World Cup history: N/A SACC history: 2017 (4th), 2018 (2nd), 2019 (5th)