Cricket was first played in Spain by soldiers serving the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War in 1809 around the Ciudad Rodrigo, Lugo and Orense regions. In 1813 there were matches played by the British Mediterranean fleet in Menorca.

1891 saw merchant seaman Thomas Ingles try to introduce the game to San Sebastian. In 1898 AT Kemble took a touring side which included AH Hornby and HG Garnett to the Canary Islands playing three games against expatriates in Las Palmas, the highlight of which was a seven wicket haul against the visitors by William Tonge. In 1913 Barcelona's British residents played a series of matches against visiting British ship crews.

It wasn't until the 1970s that the game became more regular and in 1976 the Madrid Cricket Club was formed by British and Indian expatriates, which soon had West Indians and even local Spaniards among its members. A regular diet of games against touring sides and embassies soon expanded to an internal competition when Barcelona was founded in 1982. Later in the 80s clubs were formed in Malaga and there was an expansion of the game in the Costa Del Sol and Costa Blanca regions. The main ethos of these however was more concerned with the social aspect of the sport and after-match drinking than the actual development of the sport, with some teams preferring to field a player shirt than including a local.

Spain v Isle of Man 2007: Spain's Paul Reid on the attackSpain v Isle of Man 2007: Spain's Paul Reid on the attack

However that wasn't the case everywhere and the Spanish Cricket Assoociation (AEC) was founded in 1987 to co-ordinate cricket throughout the country. Three years later in 1990 the country made its first international appearance at the European Cricketer Cup in Guernsey finishing ninth, while two years later a dedicated cricket facility was opened at the Catarma Oval near Malaga.

The sport took a step forward with the recognition of the AEC by the Spanish government making it eligible for federal funding, however despite having agreements in place, actual monies proved elusive. Through local company sponsorship the Association were able to carry out youth training programmes in clubs and schools.

On the field of play Spain took part in the ECC Trophy in Austria in 2001 beating Sweden and Finland, while losing to Malta, Portugal and Greece in the placings, Highlight of the tournament was a century by Graham Howe in the victory over the Finns.

Their squad for the 12 team 2003 ECC Trophy was as follows: Joan Sendra, Graham Howe, Pedro Venus, Paul Stanfield, Manuel Fernandez, David Climent, Carlos Parkin, Alex Fisher, Phillip Pennick, Ben Fletcher, Scott Burchell, Antonio Barca, and Jaime Catala. In the group stages half centuries from Pedro Venus saw them to wins over Croatia and Belgium, while they lost to Norway, eventually finishing seventh in the placings.

Spain v Greece 2011: A good catch taken by keeper James MorganSpain v Greece 2011: A good catch taken by keeper James Morgan

They had a promising Affiliates tournament in 2005 winning four of its six matches, beating Croatia, Malta, Belgium and Portugal with Wasim Ur Reham's century against Malta the high point in their third place.

They lost a dramatic Division Three final against Croatia by just four runs, having reached the decider by beating Isle of Man on virtue of having lost fewer wickets.

They hosted the 2009 Division Three tournament in La Manga where they finished third winning three games, with Tanveer Iqbal's 15 wickets seeing him finish top of the aggregates and winning the Player of the Tournament.

Spain v Portugal 2012: Talat Ali bowlingSpain v Portugal 2012: Talat Ali bowling

2012 saw them finish third in the European Division Two T20 tournament held in Corfu with a remarkable achievement by Tariq Ali Awan who scored back-to-back centuries on the same day! He made 150 not out against Estonia from just 66 balls, hitting 16 sixes in a brutal knock. That followed his 148 from just 55 balls against Portugal which had 18 sixes and 6 fours - incredible really.

In 2014 they were back as hosts of Division Three with La Manga once again the venue as they finished second to Belgium, just missing out on the title on NRR by the small margin of 0.20.

Spain v Sweden 2012: Swung away by James MorganSpain v Sweden 2012: Swung away by James Morgan

They travelled to Stockholm in 2016 for the European Division Two T20 tournament where once again they finished third behind winners Germany and Sweden, while in 2018 they travelled to The Netherlands for the Division One T20 qualifying tournament where despite wins over Belgium and the Isle of Man they finished third in their group.

They were granted Associate status in 2017 having been an Affiliate since 1992. In 2019 they played a total of 11 T20 internationals winning nine and losing two matches, although none of these were in ICC Europe competitions.

Spain have also fielded youth teams in various European tournaments but, to date, without any title success.

This profile by Roy Morgan was first written in 2006 and has been updated by CricketEurope.

Spain at International Tournaments
View Tournament2018 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)
View Tournament2016 European Division 2 (Stockholm, Sweden)
View Tournament2014 European Division 3 (La Manga, Spain)
View Tournament2012 European Division 2 (Corfu, Greece)
View Tournament2011 European Division 2 (Belgium)
View Tournament2009 European Division 3 (La Manga, Spain)
View Tournament2007 European Division 3 (Belgium)
View Tournament2005 European Affiliates (Belgium)
View Tournament2003 ECC Trophy (Vienna, Austria)
View Tournament2001 ECC Trophy (Austria)