Czech Republic national cricket team
|Association||Czech Republic Cricket Union|
|ICC status||Affiliate (2000)|
|ICC region||ICC Europe|
|WCL||n/a (regional tournaments)|
| Czech Republic v. Austria
(Vienna, Austria; 29 July 2006)
|As of 7 October 2015|
The Czech national cricket team, nicknamed the Lions, is the team that represents the Czech Republic in international cricket matches. The team is organised by the Czech Cricket Union, which became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2000. The national side did not debut until 2006, when it played a series against Austria. It made its international tournament debut in 2008, at a Twenty20 tournament in Wales, and has since participated regularly in international events, including some organised by the European Cricket Council.
In June 2008, an unofficial national team from the Czech Republic came second in an ICC supported Euro Twenty 20 tournament which took place at the Carmel & District Cricket Club in Wales. They were beaten by Estonia with 3 balls remaining in the final over after beating Russia and a Cricket Board of Wales team in the group stage, and a team representing Poland in the semi-final.
In August 2008, the Czech Republic hosted the Prague International Twenty 20 cricket cup at their former Vypich ground. Teams from Russia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria joined a team representing the Czech Republic in this 2-day Twenty 20 event. Unfortunately, the team from Belarus was unable to attend due to visa complications and their place was filled by a Czech B team.
After seeing off Bulgaria and Hungary quite comfortably in the group stages, the Czech Republic surprisingly had a much harder time beating Romania in the semi-final, with Romania requiring only 9 to win with 3 wickets in hand in the last over they ran out of batsmen. In the final, the Czech Republic collapsed to 61 all out against a much improved Russia team from their last encounter in the Euro Twenty 20 tournament and Russia knocked off the required runs within 11 overs, leaving the Czech team runners up in an international final once again.
2009: First official tournament
In September 2009, the Czech Republic participated for the first time in the ICC European Division 5 Championship in Corfu, finishing a respectable third (defeating Bulgaria, Turkey and Estonia) behind Sweden and the tournament winners, Greece.
In May 2011, the team took part in the ICC Europe Division 3 Championship in the newly-structured format. They lost narrowly to Bulgaria but three wickets apiece from Brigham Smith and captain Scott Page restricted Estonia to 100 all out, which the Czech team chased down thanks to an unbeaten 33 from wicket-keeper Mik Starý. Turkey and tournament winners Sweden beat the Czech team in the next two matches, but a 23-run victory over tournament hosts Slovenia in the last match helped the Czech team to finish fourth overall.
The highlight of 2012 was a trip to Budapest, Hungary, to face their central European rivals on Hungary's impressive cricket ground. The Czech team were comprehensively beaten in the Saturday 40-over friendly, but they came back well to win the 20-over friendly on Sunday by four runs, with young bowler Damian Kyselý taking three wickets in an impressive display. Captain Scott Page stepped up and bowled an ideal final over to seal the win.
2014 saw an increase in fixtures, with trips to Vienna and Dresden as well as hosting the Central Europe Cup, with T20 matches against Poland, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The match in Austria finished in another crushing defeat, this time to Austria's U25s. The trip to Dresden saw the team pick up a two-wicket win in a 50-over friendly against Dresden's 1st XI. Young bowler Oliver Matoušek picked up five wickets in his representative debut for the Lions, and Suditha Udugalage and Rahul Subash batted well to see the team home.
The Central Europe Cup ended with the team finishing bottom of the table, but the Czech team were the only team to beat champions Poland, and the Czech Republic also gave Switzerland a good run for their money before rain affected play, with Switzerland capitalising to take victory. A lacklustre Czech team then lost to a resurgent Luxembourg team on Sunday morning.
The Czech team were awarded the tournament's Spirit of Cricket award for wanting to play out the full match against Switzerland, despite being ahead on the Duckworth–Lewis method at the time. Opening batsmen Sudhir Gladson and Hilal Ahmad received man of the match awards for their performances against Poland and Switzerland, respectively.
In 2016 they signed Blake Chapman from Australia as he has a Czech background, he was announced captain and will lead them to the next World Cup.
The following players represented the country in 2016:
- Hilal Ahmad
- Honza Corness
- Rohit Deshmoyni
- Lukáš Fencl
- Sudhir Gladson
- Vojta Haša
- Manjeet Malik
- Oliver Matoušek
- Scott Page
- Chris Pearce
- Brigham Smith
- Benji Souček
- Mik Starý
- Rahul Subash
- Suditha Udugalage
- Arshad Yousafzai
- Blake 'The Virgin' Chapman (Captain)
- Kye " The Whale Whisper " Mesiti
- Czech Cricket official website
- Play-cricket.com stats database for Czech National Team games, official and unofficial
- "The Home of CricketArchive". Cricketarchive.co.uk.
- Other matches played by Czech Republic – CricketArchive. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- "eurotwenty20.eu". eurotwenty20.eu.
- "Blogs: Prague International Twenty20 Cricket Cup 2008 | Cricket Blogs | ESPN Cricinfo". Blogs.cricinfo.com. 29 August 2008.
- "ICC Europe Division 5, 2009". Cricket Europe.
- "ICC Europe Division 3, 2011". Cricket Europe.
- "Central Europe Cup". www.czechcricket.cz. 8 September 2014.
- "Lions suffer defeat in Austria". www.czechcricket.cz. 7 July 2014.
- "Five for Matoušek as Czechs win in Dresden". www.czechcricket.cz. 25 August 2014.
- "Czech National Team - Lions Vs Poland National Team - Twenty20". play-cricket.com. 8 September 2014.
- "Czech National Team - Lions Vs Switzerland National Team - Twenty20". play-cricket.com. 8 September 2014.