Cricket was first played as a demonstration sport during the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. Staff from the British Embassy combined with some British residents to make up a side which played against a team of British sailors on the sports field adjacent to the Olympic Stadium.
The demonstration did not encourage the take-up of the sport, however, and the game was not played again in Finland until the 1960s when some matches were organized by the Palmerstons Society in Tapiola, a Helsinki suburb.
In 1974 some British and Australians formed the Helsinki Cricket Club. Efforts were made to spread the game more widely and in the 1990s two more clubs were founded in the Helsinki region and one in Turku.
The Finnish Cricket Association (Suomen Krikettilitto ry) was established in 1999and organized the national league and a development programme. The game attracted a considerable number of indigenous cricketers, with approximately one third from the country.
International cricket started in 2000 when a four match series was organized against Estonia, with Finland achieving a clean sweep, achieving their highest score 333 in Helsinki.
They took part in their first tournament in 2000 in Vienna when although they finished bottom of the table they did claim a famous first competition win, beating Croatia. They returned the following year when they finished seventh out of ten, beating Sweden in the group stages and Austria in the placings. In a three-team Representative Trophy in 2002 in Zagreb, they beat hosts Croatia and Slovenia. They were back once again in Austria in 2003 beating Portugal and Luxembourg to finish 8th.
They enjoyed a successful 2004 ECC Trophy in Slovenia winning four of their five matches against the hosts, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, losing out to eventual winners Croatia. Petteri Moilanen made history by becoming their first centurion as he hit 137 not out against Bulgaria, while Amrik Bhattia finished joint leading wicket taker with ten victims.
They didn't have the happiest of tournaments in Belgium at the Affiliates Division 3 finishing last of the nine teams, but Scott Thurling had the consolation of making their second century at European competitive level as they beat Croatia.
They won Division Four held in Belgium in 2006, beating Cyprus and Slovenia, while losing to Luxembourg. Highlight as well as collecting silverware was a five wicket haul by Stephen Viola against Cyprus. The step up to Division Three wasn't a happy one as they finished last in 2007 back in Belgium, with their sole win coming over Portugal.
They hosted the last European indoor tournament at Kuortane, where they finished third, while their next outdoor competition saw them come fifth in 2009 Division Four at Happy Valley in Cyprus where their sole win came against Slovenia thanks primarily to a five wicket haul by Amrik Bhattia. In 2011 they were part of an expanded Division Two T20 tournament finishing 7th out of 12 with wins over Luxembourg (twice) and Cyprus. They improved in the tournament the following year by making 6th place, winning group games against Isle of Man, Cyprus and Croatia as well as a placing match over Portugal. Tariq Sarfraz (11 wickets) finished fourth overall in the bowling.
They endured a miserable Division Three in 2014 in La Manga losing all four of their matches, and in the new world order with fewer and fewer tournaments for lesser sides, it would be 2018 before they would be seen again in tournament action. The Netherlands played host to the first phase of a European T20 qualifying tournament which would see 18 teams battling it out. They didn't make it out of their six team group, winning one match against Spain.
They played five T20 internationals in 2019 losing twice to Denmark (the first by just one run) and beating Spain once and losing twice in a three match series. They are currently ranked 64 by ICC and are coached by Matthew Jenkinson.
This profile by Roy Morgan was first written in 2006 and has been updated by CricketEurope.
|Finland at International Tournaments|
|View Tournament||2018 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)|
|View Tournament||2014 European Division 3 (La Manga, Spain)|
|View Tournament||2012 European Division 2 (Corfu, Greece)|
|View Tournament||2011 European Division 2 (Belgium)|
|View Tournament||2009 European Division 4 (Cyprus)|
|View Tournament||2007 European Division 3 (Belgium)|
|View Tournament||2006 European Division 4 (Belgium)|
|View Tournament||2005 European Affiliates (Belgium)|
|View Tournament||2004 ECC Representative (Ljubljana, Slovenia)|
|View Tournament||2003 ECC Trophy (Vienna, Austria)|
|View Tournament||2002 ECC Representative (Zagreb, Croatia)|
|View Tournament||2001 ECC Trophy (Austria)|
|View Tournament||2000 ECC Representative (Vienna, Austria)|