Cricket was relatively unknown in Bulgaria until the early 2000s when Professor Nikolai Kolev of the National Sports Academy, who had championed the introduction of other minority sports such as rugby and baseball, decided to promote cricket.

Within two years there were four clubs, two of which, the National Sports Academy in Sofia and a team from Varna on the Black Sea coast are entirely Bulgarian. The Bulgarian Cricket Federation was formed in 2002, and in 2004 they took part in international competition for the first time during the ECC Representative Trophy in Slovenia, suffering a baptism of fire.

They lost all five games, losing heavily against Switzerland (256 runs), Croatia (6 wickets after making 38) – although Prabhjot Gill took all four wickets, Slovenia (107 runs), Finland (193 runs) and Luxembourg (37 runs) in which Tim Buisseret hit 49.

SQUAD: Lachezar Georgiev, Milen Kalchev, Ludmil Trenev, Ivaylo Kazarski, Martin Todorov, Kuzman Primdjanov, Tim Buisseret, Prabhjot Gill, Tewatia Vikram Singh, Lubomir Zanev, Leven Kortel, Stanislav Stoianov, Saif-Ur Rehman, Coach: Saif-Ur Rehman, Manager: Nikolay Kolev.

Parkash Mishra hits a six against Czech Republic at the 2009 European Division 5 tournament in CorfuParkash Mishra hits a six against Czech Republic at the 2009 European Division 5 tournament in Corfu (© CricketEurope)

They were granted Affiliate status by ICC in 2008 and the following year took part in the Division Five tournament which was held in Corfu, finishing fourth as they beat Estonia, but lost to Hellas, Sweden, Czech Republic and Turkey.

Highlights for them were Vikram Tewatia’s four wickets against the Czechs, while Mohamad Hanif also claimed four wickets in the Estonia win.

The Bulgarian squad at the 2011 European Division 3 tournament in SloveniaThe Bulgarian squad at the 2011 European Division 3 tournament in Slovenia (© CricketEurope)

They managed one win in the 2011 European Division Three competition held in Slovenia and Austria – a four run victory against the Czech Republic, while they lost against Sweden, Estonia, Slovenia, and Turkey. Batting highlight was Stuart Clarkson’s 41 versus the Czechs, while Mohamed Hanif was their leading wicket taker with six.

Mohammad Hanif batting against Turkey  at the 2011 European Division 3 tournamentMohammad Hanif batting against Turkey at the 2011 European Division 3 tournament (© CricketEurope)

Their last ICC European tournament came in 2012 when they were in Tallin as Estonia hosted a tournament for the first time, Slovenia completing the three team event.

Highlights off the field included the appearance of Shane Warne and his girlfriend Liz Hurley, while on the The ICC European Division 3 tournament was a triumph both on and off the field for hosts Estonia, who topped the group ahead of Slovenia and Bulgaria. The competition was played in glorious conditions throughout on the magnificent and unique setting of the Hippodrome ground.

On the field of play Matthew Stewart made consecutive half centuries on the final day, and he shared the only century partnership of the event with Danail Trenev, as their opening stand of 112 helped Bulgaria to shock Estonia. Stewart with 147 and Trenev 135 were second and fourth in the leading run scorers.

The Bulgarian squad at the 2012 European Division 3 tournament in TallinnThe Bulgarian squad at the 2012 European Division 3 tournament in Tallinn (© CricketEurope)

In 2019 they played their first T20I, having been granted Associate status in 2017. They beat Serbia and then played twice against Greece, winning and losing once.

In September 2020 they played Malta twice, losing both matches, and one further scheduled match was washed out. Their squad for 2020 series against Malta was as follows: Prakash Mishra (c), Agagyul Ahmadhel, Sulaiman Ali, Rohan Bhavesh Patel, Kevin D'Souza, Aravinda De Silva, Kiran Dasan (wk), Boiko Ivanov, Hristo Ivanov (wk), Ivaylo Katzarski, Hristo Lakov (vc), Fayaz Mohammad, Bakhtiar Tahiri, Delrick Varghese.

They are currently placed 69th in the ICC T20 rankings, with their highest being 52nd.

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

Bulgaria at International Tournaments
View Tournament2012 European Division 3 (Tallinn, Estonia))
View Tournament2011 European Division 3 (Slovenia & Austria)
View Tournament2009 European Division 5 (Corfu, Greece)
View Tournament2004 ECC Representative Festival (Ljubljana, Slovenia)