Panama national cricket team
|ICC membership granted||2002|
|ICC member status||Affiliate member|
|ICC development region||Americas|
|World Cricket League division||n/a|
|First recorded match||1964 v Trinidad and Tobago at Panama|
|As of 15 April 2009|
The Panamanian cricket team is the team that represents the country of Panama in international cricket matches. They became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2002. Their international debut is believed to be against a side from Trinidad and Tobago in 1964.
Cricket in Panama began with colonials who came from the West Indies area during the construction of the Panama Canal. Most of them originated from India and they joined local people in playing cricket on their day off - Sunday.
After the colonials left the country, grounds that were previously used for cricket were used for soccer games as there was a drop in interest in cricket. But an increase in people of Indian origin saw the creation of the Indian Society, which set about finding a venue for cricket to be played, and to interact with each other, and so the game grew.
Panama joined the ICC as an Affiliate Member in 2002 and since then the game has been flourishing among the youngsters in the country.
Their first international in recent years was a friendly series played against Venezuela in 2000 which they won 1-0. Panama were invited to play in the 4th South American Championships later that year. The team performed well in its first international tournament, finishing fourth of seven teams.
Panama has been playing without the services of a national coach but has still managed to produce some talented players such as Soyeb Chojan, Tarik Daya, Irfan Tarajia, Nilesh Bhakta, Munaf Kachalia, Raju Ahir, Asif Patel, Said Kara and Zahir Motala. Playing in recent regional ICC tournaments, Panama has finished second and third, ahead of countries such as Belize, Brasil and Turks and Caicos. Its latest participation came in the 2010 Americas Division Two - held in the Bahamas ? where it won three matches out of four and only missed out on promotion on net run-rate.
In Panama, there is only one senior league in which 19 teams participate. Before that the league was split into two - as Hindu and Muslim cricketers played separately. But with the intention of promoting peace and tolerance, these two leagues were combined.
The focus for the next few years is to create more competitions and tournaments to promote an interest in cricket at junior level.
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 secure a ground for its national players.
Plans are being put into place 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.
After being affiliate member
In 2002, Panama were 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 were placed in Division Two. They finished third in that tournament, played in Argentina, behind the hosts and the Bahamas. They retained their place in Division Two for 2008. In that instalment of the competition, played in Suriname, Panama finished in third place and will remain in the division for the next cycle, in 2010.In 2010,Panama also finished in 3rd place behind Suriname and the hosts the Bahamas.In the 2011 Championship div 2, Panama stayed as runners-up behind Suriname.
Panama entered and hosted the Central American Championships for the first time in 2009. They came in as favourites, being the strongest Central American international side and won the competition as expected. The tournament was their first international Twenty20 competition.
Americas Affiliate Championships
South American Championships
Panama shall take part in the South American Cricket Championship which should be taking place in Buenos Aires,Argentina feb 2013.
- [httjp://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Countries/78.html Panama] at cricketarchive.co.uk
- Venezuela to play Panama this weekend at cricinfo.com