A world-renowned sport is taking root in Skellefteå

A new initiative is taking shape in Skellefteå. This is not just any sport – it's one that previously never really has had a place in Skellefteå. Biju Sukumar, one of the initiators, now hopes to bring the world sport of cricket to life in northern Västerbotten: "We hope that more Swedes will dare to come and try it," he says expectantly.

Happy face's from cricket-lovers at Anderstorp IP.

Happy face's from cricket-lovers at Anderstorp IP.

Foto: Donna Richmond

Engelska2024-07-03 10:00

When Norran visited Anderstorp IP, we were met by both adults and children gathered for this historic event. Families were present to watch, play, and cheer on the six different teams in what might be Skellefteå's first-ever cricket tournament.

The sport is ranked as one of the world's largest, often second only to football. And in Sweden, cricket has become one of the fastest-growing sports.

But in Skellefteå, it is barely played. Biju Sukumar, who is from India, explains that cricket is like a type of religion in his homeland. It is seen as sacred and considered the most popular sport of all. According to Biju, no other sport can match cricket in terms of the number of participants.

Adults and children showed up to Anderstorp IP.
Circket tournament at Anderstorp IP.

A group of ten people, all from India and now residing in Skellefteå, are behind this initiative. Initially, they only played with each other on weekends, but have now decided to try to elevate the sport to a new level:

– We have played a lot indoors, but now that summer has come, we have started playing more and more outdoors. That’s where the idea actually came from. We wanted to test and see what the interest in cricket looked like in the city. And then we decided to create a cricket tournament, explains Biju and continues:

– We have received an enormous response to this. We had hardly even expected four teams to register, but it ended up with six teams signing up to participate in the tournament. It’s not just those who are playing that have shown interest, but also those who have come here to watch the matches, cheer, and show their support and enthusiasm.

Biju Sukumar, en av initiativtagarna, var med och spelade och hoppas nu att intresset för sporten ska växa sig ännu starkare i Skellefteå.
The six teams battled for the medals at Anderstorp IP.
Medals and trophies were awarded to the winners.

In this tournament, which took place on a sunny and warm Sunday in Skellefteå, the participants were mainly people with some background or knowledge of cricket, coming from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

But the initiators are hopeful that more people, with or without a background in cricket, will want to come and try the sport:

– The hope is to be able to broaden, both in ages and backgrounds. There are lots of children here today who are interested in cricket, which is very fun, says an inspired Biju and continues:

– We also hope that more Swedes will want to try cricket. That would be very fun.

Both children and adults enjoyed the tournament at Anderstorp IP.
There was a cheerful atmosphere when Skellefteå's (perhaps) first cricket tournament was held this past Sunday.


What is cricket?

  • A ball game played between two teams of eleven players each. Cricket can be traced back to at least 16th century England and developed into the national sport of the country during the 19th century. Cricket is played on a large oval-shaped grass field and is fundamentally similar to baseball.
  • The sport is popular in countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, as well as in Australia, England, the West Indies, and South Africa. Matches are played over several days and last between 90 minutes to three hours.
  • Indian Sachin Tendulkar is one of the world's greatest and most popular players with about 50 million followers on Instagram.
  • It is said that there are between 3–4 billion cricket fans around the world.       
In the cricket tournament at Anderstorp IP, there were players originating from countries such as India and Sri Lanka.
Läs mer om