Cricket is team sport, which is characterized by almost perfect functionality, obvious nobility in appearance and execution, peaceful development as well as a real high athletic spirit. It is a sport without extremes that is dominated by discipline in the requirements of its regulation, in a civilized atmosphere of players and spectators. It is the second most popular sport in the world with 2.5 billion fans.
Cricket appears historically in Greece for the first time in Corfu, which was under English occupation, on April 23, 1823 with a game between the officers of the British Navy.
The teenagers of Corfu, even the adults of that time, were enticed by this kind game and showed great interest in learning it, while the English, for their part, were happy to teach and spread it.
From this moment on, it took only 12 years for the people of Corfu to learn the game and create two local teams to play with the British.
After the withdrawal of the English in 1864 from Corfu and the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece, two local groups were created, the Gogakis Company and the Kampitsis association.
In 1893, due to a lack of players, these two clubs merged and created the Corfu Gymnastics Association (KGS), the third oldest club in Greece after Panelinios and Panionios.
KGS was the only opponent for the teams of Royal Navy ships visiting Corfu.
In 1923 Ergatikos C.C. was founded and in 1925 it opened its gates to the aristocracy and another Byron C.C was founded, in the memory of the great poet and politician Lord Byron.
In 1904 30-40 ships of the Mediterranean fleet participating in cricket matches and in 1932 the Princess of Wales on the Queen Elizabeth warship and 45 other ships.
Historically, cricket appeared at the Olympic Games in 1900, and was also scheduled to be included in the 1904 Games in St. Louis – but due to lack of facilities it was not possible. In Corfu, cricket was not just a sporting spectacle, but a unique social and cultural event, which, at first, was directly linked to the strong bourgeoisie and the “old aristocracy” and then evolved into a point of reference and captivated the whole world. Island’s. The “cricket day” became the preeminent entertainment of the people of Corfu, a unique opportunity for going out and meeting, an integral and sought after element of their daily life.
Hellenic Cricket Federation (H.C.F) is the National Governing body for cricket in Greece and it was founded in 1996. Its central offices based in Corfu, and it is an Associate member of I.C.C. Its main goal is to maintain Cricket at a high competitive and organizational level and at the same time to take care for its spread throughout Greece, as well as its passage to the next generations. H.C.F is responsible for the organization of cricket’s major Domestic and International Competitions.The Hellenic Cricket Federation achieves its goals through its strategy plan by organizing matches, by publishing special publications and books on issues related to the sport, and collaborate with school sports organizations, mass organizations and other organizations with a common object of interest.
Takes care of the training, education and retraining of Referee, Coaches, and Umpires and participates actively in sports and cultural issues.
Collaborates with other sports organizations but also with organizations that pursue the same purposes.
The annual international Youth and Men’s Competitions are important sporting events, while European Championships was successfully organized.
In addition to the development of the sport, cricket contributes significantly to the sports tourism area as annually many teams from abroad visit the island to participate in sports activities and Cricket Festivals. Corfu has been established as a meeting place for sports and scientific entertainment, with cricket and Corfu as a point of reference.
In addition Hellenic Cricket Federation implements special social programs for vulnerable social groups and contributes to the reduction of the marginalization of foreign youth, the development of skills, the cultivation of self-confidence and equality in society.
In 2021, ICC has confirmed its intention to push for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games going forward, starting preparations for a bid on behalf of the sport with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 itinerary.
A Working Group to lead the bid has been assembled by the ICC. Thirty-million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to Olympic competition.
Cricket, till now, has made just one appearance in the Olympics, way back in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and hosts France – meaning the sport’s inclusion in 2028 would mark the end of a 128-year absence. The sport will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics, as well as being a momentous occasion on its own.