Wales national cricket team
|International Cricket Council|
|ICC status||Part of the England and Wales Cricket Board|
|First international||21 July 1923 v Scotland at Perth, Scotland|
|One Day Internationals|
|World Cup Qualifier appearances||1 (first in 1979)|
|Best result||First round, 1979|
|As of 11 September 2006|
The Wales national cricket team (Welsh: Tîm criced cenedlaethol Cymru) is a representative cricket team for Wales. Despite Wales and England being represented in all forms of International cricket by the England team, the Welsh cricket team continues to play short form cricket periodically.
From 1923 to 1930 Wales played 16 first-class matches, and had some success against touring teams, drawing with the New Zealanders in 1927 and beating the West Indians a year later, as well as losing by only ten runs to the South Africans in 1929. Sydney Barnes, by this time well into his fifties, took 49 first-class wickets for Wales, including 7–51 in the victory over the West Indians.
They next played Israel and piled up a daunting 234/5, this time Hopkins opened the batting and again top scored with 92, Geoffrey Williams hit 67. Some effective bowling by Alan Geoghegan (3/23) limited Israel and Wales finished the match 91 runs ahead.
The match against United States, was an exciting affair. Chasing a respectable total of 190, the Welsh were on target at 139/4 (Geoff Ellis making 56), but an unexpected and excellent spell of bowling from Kamran Rasheed (more usually a wicket-keeper) turned the game. He took 5–17 in his eight overs and Wales were dismissed for 182, just eight runs short.
The game against Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled. As a result, Wales finished equal first on 10 points in group C but lost out on a Semi-final spot to Sri Lanka due to their superior run rate. Hopkins finished with 168 runs to his name, joint 6th for the tournament and the highest of any player to exit at the group stage.
Triple Crown Tournament
Wales took part in the Triple Crown Tournament (British Isles Championship) between 1993 and 2001; this was an initiative to help develop cricket in British Isles involving Wales, Scotland, Ireland and various England amateur XIs. Wales hosted the event in 1996 and 2000 but never won the annual tournament in its nine years.
As Scotland and Ireland became ICC members the tournament was discontinued and the two have since competed in the ICC's European Cricket Championship. As Wales is not an ICC member in its own right, the team cannot feature in the ICC competition meaning Wales has not played competitive international cricket since the discontinuation of the Triple Crown Tournament.
From 2002 to 2004 Wales played a 50-over challenge match against England each June. In the first of these games they recorded a shock eight-wicket victory, with Steve James making 83 not out, though the other two games went to England. Wales' team consisted mostly of Welsh cricketers, although there were a scattering of non-Welsh Glamorgan players such as Michael Kasprowicz and Dean Cosker.
In 1988, a Wales Minor Counties team under the control of the Welsh Cricket Association, the governing body for amateur cricket in Wales, made its first appearance in the Holt Cup, a one-day tournament for minor-county teams. Since then, the Wales MC side has appeared regularly in the NatWest Trophy (and its successor, the C&G Trophy) as well as in the Minor Counties Championship, their most notable result probably the seven-wicket win over Denmark in the first round of the 2004 C&G Trophy (which due to the vagaries of the schedule was actually played in August 2003).
Status as standalone team
Historically, the England team represented 'Great Britain' in international cricket, with Scottish or Welsh teams playing occasional matches. Scotland became an independent member of the ICC in 1994, having separated from the Test and County Cricket Board (the forerunner of the current England and Wales Cricket Board) two years earlier.
Criticism has been made of the England and Wales Cricket Board using only the England name whilst utilising Welsh players such as Simon Jones and Geraint Jones. With Welsh players pursuing international careers exclusively with an England team, there have been a number of calls for Wales to become an independent member of the ICC, or for the ECB to provide more fixtures for a Welsh national team. However, both Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club have continually supported the ECB, with Glamorgan arguing for the financial benefits of the Welsh county within the English structure, and Cricket Wales stating they are "committed to continuing to play a major role within the ECB"
The absence of a Welsh cricket team has seen a number of debates within the Welsh Senedd. In 2013 a debate saw both Conservative and Labour members lend their support to the establishment of an independent Welsh team.
In 2015, a report produced by the Welsh National Assembly’s petitions committee, reflected the passionate debate around the issue. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on heritage, culture, sport and broadcasting, and a member of the petitions committee, argued that Wales should have its own international team and withdraw from the ECB. Jenkins noted that Ireland (with a population of 6.4 million) was an ICC member with 6,000 club players whereas Wales (with 3 million) had 7,500. Jenkins said: "Cricket Wales and Glamorgan CCC say the idea of a Welsh national cricket team is ‘an emotive subject’, of course having a national team is emotive, you only have to look at the stands during any national game to see that. To suggest this as anything other than natural is a bit of a misleading argument."
In 2017, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones called for the reintroduction of the Welsh one day team stating: "[It] is odd that we see Ireland and Scotland playing in international tournaments and not Wales."
Notable Welsh cricketers
The following Welsh cricketers have played Test cricket for England:
- Sydney Barnes: The legendary English fast-medium bowler, born in Staffordshire, made nine appearances for Wales from 1927 until 1930 (retiring at 57 years old). Barnes took 49 wickets for Wales in 1928, including seven for 51 and five for 67 in an eight wicket win over the touring West Indians.
- Robert Croft: Croft played international cricket for both England and Wales. He is first Welsh cricketer to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets in first-class cricket.
- Simon Jones: He became an integral member of England's triumphant Ashes-winning team in 2005. Jones's pace and mastery of reverse-swing carried him to 18 wickets at 21 in four Tests, before he was forced to sit out a nervy final match due to an ankle problem.
- Tony Lewis: Lewis captained Glamorgan and England, and went on to become the face of BBC Television cricket coverage in the 1990s, and become president of the MCC.
- Cyril Walters: He had most of his success after leaving Glamorgan, as captain-secretary of Worcestershire.
- Steve Watkin: He played three Test matches in 1991 and 1993, and four One Day Internationals in 1993 and 1994.
- Wilf Wooller: Cricketer, rugby union footballer, cricket administrator and journalist, Wooller captained Glamorgan CCC for 14 years, was Secretary for thirty and President for six.
- "First-class matches played by Wales". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Campaign for a truly National Welsh Cricket Team
- "Should Wales have its own international cricket team, ask Assembly Members", Wales Online, 23 October 2013. Accessed 13 January 2014
- "Clearing the Boundaries" (PDF). Cricket Wales.
- "Glamorgan chief executive says Wales cricket team makes 'no sense'". BBC. 14 June 2018.
- "Glamorgan oppose petition to form a Wales cricket team". BBC. 12 December 2011.
- "Establishment of a Welsh Cricket Team". BBC Democracy Live.
- Shipton, Martin. "A Welsh national cricket team? AMs will have their say on the possibility this autumn". walesonline. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- Wyn-Williams, Gareth. "Welsh national cricket team should be set up says Rhun ap Iorwerth". northwales. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "Jonathan EdwardsTowards a National Future for Welsh Cricket". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- Shipton, Martin. "Should Wales have its own international cricket team, ask Assembly Members". walesonline. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "The bat and the daffodil". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- Williamson, David. "Call for Wales to have its own cricket team". walesonline. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "Wales cricket team should play one-day games, Carwyn Jones says". BBC. BBC News. 4 July 2017.
- Williamson, David (5 July 2017). "Carwyn Jones says Wales should have a one-day international Welsh cricket team". Wales Online.
- Johnnie Clay
- Jeff Jones
- Tony Lewis
- Austin Matthews
- Gilbert Parkhouse
- Pat Pocock
- Greg Thomas
- Maurice Turnbull
- Cyril Walters
- Steve Watkin
- Allan Watkins
- Wilf Wooller