Israel national cricket team
The Israel national cricket team is the team that represents the State of Israel in international cricket. Despite being geographically part of the Middle East, they are members of the European Cricket Council.
|International Cricket Council|
|ICC status||Associate member (1974)|
|First international||22 May 1979 v USA at Solihull, England|
|One Day Internationals|
|World Cup Qualifier appearances||7 (first in 1979)|
|Best result||Plate competition, 1990 and 1994|
|As of 3 May 2019|
They regularly take part in the European Championship, and are currently ranked as the 12th best non-test team in Europe by the International Cricket Council (ICC), having been an associate member of that organisation since 1974.
In April 2018, the ICC decided to grant full Twenty20 International (T20I) status to all its members. Therefore, all Twenty20 matches played between Israel and other ICC members after 1 January 2019 will be a full T20I.
As is most often the case, cricket was introduced to Israel by the British. Local enthusiasts managed to keep the game going once the British had left in 1948, but the game was struggling until the mid-1960s, when an influx of Jewish immigrants from cricket playing countries revived the game, mainly South Africa, United Kingdom, and the Indian Subcontinent.
The first national league was formed in 1966, which led to the formation of the Israel Cricket Association (ICA) in 1968. The league prospered despite conditions ill-suited to cricket. Games were played on dusty, grass-less football fields, on matting wickets. However, the enthusiasm of the players has overcome these drawbacks.
Israel became an associate member of the ICC in 1974, with only Pakistan opposing their membership. Israel competed in the first ICC Trophy in 1979, failing to get past the first round. They also failed to progress beyond the first round in the 1982 tournament and 1986 tournament
They reached the plate competition of the ICC Trophy in 1990 and 1994 and in 1996 competed in the first European Championship in Denmark, finishing eighth in the eight team tournament. The 1997 ICC Trophy in Malaysia gave them a brief, though unwanted, moment in the spotlight. Malaysia does not recognise the state of Israel, and they faced political demonstrations throughout the tournament from the Islamic Party of Malaysia. They were the first Israeli sports team to play in the country and finished in 22nd and last place.
In 1998, they finished ninth in the European Championship ahead of only Gibraltar and the following year travelled to Gibraltar to take part in a quadrangular tournament also involving France and Italy, losing to France in the third place play-off.
Israel have been playing in Division Two of the European Championships since 2000, finishing fifth in 2000, fourth in 2002 and sixth in 2004. In the 2006 tournament, the Israeli team were again met with protests, due to the then ongoing crisis in the Middle East. Their first match, against Jersey was cancelled and their remaining two group games were met by protests. Their play-off games were then moved to RAF Lossiemouth to be played under armed guard. The second of these games, against Greece was forfeited by the Greeks, who had travel problems. Israel thus finished in seventh place.
In November 2007, Israel were defeated in a relegation match against Croatia, in the first international cricket game played in Israel. The loss meant that they were relegated from the 2nd European division, to the 3rd Division. In 2009 they got promoted to Second division with a win over Croatia.
- 1979: First round
- 1982: First round
- 1986: First round
- 1990: Plate competition
- 1994: Plate competition
- 1997: 21st place
- 2001: First round
- 2005: Did not qualify
- "ICC Rankings". International Cricket Council.
- European Cricket Nations
- ICC's one-day rankings Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Israel at CricketArchive
- "All T20 matches between ICC members to get international status". International Cricket Council. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- History of Israeli cricket
- 1979 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1982 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1986 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1990 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1994 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1996 European Championship Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine at CricketEurope
- 1997 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo
- 1998 European Championship Archived 9 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine at CricketEurope
- Scorecard of France v Israel, 25 September 1999 at Cricinfo
- 2000 European Championship Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine at CricketEurope
- 2002 European Championship Official Site results page Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- 2004 European Championship second division results Archived 1 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine, European Cricket Council website
- Conflict affects sport and arts, BBC
- Protests at Israeli cricket game, BBC
- Israeli cricket match cancelled, BBC
- 2006 European Championship Division Two Archived 17 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine at CricketEurope
- Israel relegated to European Division 3 after narrow loss to Croatia by Israel Cricket Association, 23 September 2007
- 2001 ICC trophy at Cricinfo
- 2005 ICC Trophy at Cricinfo