Panama national cricket team
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The Panamanian national cricket team is the team that represents the Republic of Panama in international cricket. The Panama Cricket Association became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2002 and is an associate member since 2017. Their international debut is believed to have taken place against a side from Trinidad and Tobago in 1964.
Flag of the Panama national cricket team
|International Cricket Council|
|ICC status||Associate member (2017)|
|First international||1964 v Trinidad and Tobago at Panama|
|As of 15 April 2009|
In April 2018, the ICC decided to grant full Twenty20 International (T20I) status to all its members. Therefore, all Twenty20 matches played between Panama and other ICC members after 1 January 2019 will be a full T20I.
Cricket was introduced to Panama by colonials from the West Indies during the creation of the Panama Canal. After the colonials left the country, most of the nation's attention was turned to Cricket. The growing number of inhabitants of Indian origin created a group called the Indian Society.  The purpose of this society was to create opportunities for relationships and to find new venues in which cricket could be played. Due to this effort, the popularity of the game grew. Panama joined the ICC as an Affiliate Member in 2002 and since then, cricket has been flourishing among the younger population of the country.
The team's first international matches in recent years came in a friendly series played against Venezuela in 2000, which Panama won 1–0. Panama was invited to play in the fourth South American Cricket Championships later that year. The team performed well in its first international tournament, finishing fourth of the seven teams.
Panama has been playing without the services of a national coach. Playing in recent regional ICC tournaments, Panama has finished second and third, ahead of countries such as Belize, Brazil, and Turkey and Caicos. The most recent participation came in the 2010 Americas Division Two, held in the Bahamas, where the team won three matches out of four and only missed out on promotion on net run-rate.
The chief concern is the loss of cricket grounds. During recent years, four grounds have been lost to soccer due to financial difficulties. The Panama Cricket Association is therefore looking to a secure a ground for its national players.
Plans are being made to start coaching for junior players but once again this is limited by finances as use of a gym is required, due to a rainy season that lasts for eight months of the year.
Progress in Tournaments since 2002Edit
In 2002, Panama was granted affiliate status by the ICC along with a number of other countries in the Americas Region. Two years later, they hosted their first international tournament, the Americas Affiliate Championships. They finished as runners up to the Bahamas, just missing out on qualification for the ICC Americas Championship.
The affiliates tournament was expanded to a multi-division competition in 2006, and Panama was placed in Division Two. They finished third in that tournament, which was played in Argentina, behind the hosts and the Bahamas. They retained their place in Division Two for 2008. In this part of the competition, played in Suriname, Panama finished in third place and remained in the division for the next cycle, in 2010. In the same year, Panama also finished in 3rd place behind Suriname and the hosts, the Bahamas. In the 2011 Championship, Panama stayed as runners-up behind Suriname in Division 2.
Panama entered and hosted the Central American Championships for the first time in 2009. They came in as favorites, being the strongest Central American international side, and won the competition. The tournament was their first international Twenty20 competition.
Panama also took part in the America Regional T20 3rd Division Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 2014.
Americas Affiliate Championships
Central American Championships
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- "The Home of CricketArchive". cricketarchive.co.uk.
- Venezuela to play Panama this weekend at cricinfo.com
- "All T20 matches between ICC members to get international status". International Cricket Council. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- "Panama - Affiliate Members - ICC Members - ICC Cricket". icc-cricket.com.
- "South American Cricket Championships 2000, Final Report" – ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 31 August 2018.