Recreational cricket is recorded as having been played in the 1890s by gardeners on the Rothschild estate near Vienna but the next reference to the game in Austria is not until 1975 when Kerry Tattersall, an Australian teaching English, founded the Vienna Cricket Club.

Other clubs soon followed and by 1990 it was possible to form a representative side to compete in the European Cricketer Cup in Guernsey, finishing seventh out of ten participants. Although some Austrians were enthusiastically involved in the game, the majority of cricketers were of Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan descent.

Andrew Simpson-Parker is credited with scoring their first century, making 148 against Greece at Oxford in 1995.

Andrew Simpson Parker takes a catch against Isle of Man in 2011Andrew Simpson Parker takes a catch against Isle of Man in 2011 (© CricketEurope)

In 1996 a national cricket centre was opened in Seebarn, in the vine-growing area 20 kilometres north of Vienna, and a new pitch was established at Velden.

They played in the 1999 ECC Trophy in Corfu, where they finished fifth. They lost the first game against the hosts despite four wickets for Raza Aqif. They were beaten by Switzerland in a high scoring contest, but beat Belgium by eight wickets thanks to half centuries from Arshad Mohammed and Simpson-Parker. They also won their play-off match against Malta thanks once more to a superb all-round display by Andrew Simpson –Parker.

The Austria squad for this competition was as follows: Erwin Grasinger, Tim Simpson, Michael Nedoma, Martin Roy, Christian Kamin, Wolfgang Tesar, Marco Celeghin, Farragh Malik, Benjamin Loader, Arshad Mohammed, Raza Aqif, Andrew Simpson-Parker.

They hosted the tournament the following year, and started with a win against Slovenia thanks to 80 from Arshad Mohammed. They were well beaten by eventual winners Norway, but bounced back with a comfortable win against Finland, and finished the campaign with an agonizing two-run reverse against Croatia despite a half century from the ever consistent Simpson-Parker.

He was in the runs again as they hosted and reached the final of the 2001 tournament, winning five of their six matches. He scored 61 against Greece, 97 versus Croatia, 72 against Belgium and 23 against Switzerland – all four group matches won. He hit 94 in the semi-final victory Malta – Benji Loader taking four wickets. ASP made 43 in the final but it wasn’t enough as Portugal won by nine wickets.

Both sides qualified for European Division Two in N Ireland in 2002, but the Austrians found the step up a tough one, losing all five games. They were trounced by Germany (280 runs), well beaten by Israel (135 runs), edged out by Gibraltar (2 wkts), beaten by Portugal (6 wickets) and finished with another heavy loss, this time to France (106 runs) in a tournament to forget.

The Austrian squad at the 2003 European Indoor ChampionshipThe Austrian squad at the 2003 European Indoor Championship (© CricketEurope)

They were back hosting the 2003 ECC Trophy as they finished second, Simpson Parker’s 101 against Switzerland the highlight, with 50s too from Erwin Grasinger, Tim Simpson, Benji Loader and Satyam Subash..

A six year hiatus was ended they played in the 2009 Division Four competition in Cyprus, winning four and losing just once. Amar Naeem and Benji Loader both finished in the top five of the run charts, while Satish Kaul and Ranga Peiris were in the top ten bowling aggregates.

They played two tournaments in 2011, as the T20 revolution took hold in European tournaments. In Division Two they gained promotion having reached the final. They were involved in an amazing game in their semi-final win against the Isle of Man as Muhammad Akhtar’s new ball blitz reduced the Manx men to 10 for 7 at one stage! They lost the final to Belgium but had done enough to reach Division One.

That tournament was held in Jersey and Guernsey, with Austria acquitting themselves well in the group stages winning against Gibraltar, Guernsey and Croatia. In the placings they played better than their eighth placing, being beaten by Belgium and France.

Amar Naeem was the only centurion of the tournament and for good measure he also took a world record five stumpings in the same game, a win over Croatia. Lakmal L Kasthuriarachchi was their leading wicket taker with 11.

Amir Naeem scored a century and took 5 stumpings against Croatia in the European Division 2 match in 2011Amir Naeem scored a century and took 5 stumpings against Croatia in the European Division 2 match in 2011 (© CricketEurope)

They lost their three games in the European WCL 8 qualifiers against Gibraltar, France and winners Belgium, while in the 12 team European qualifiers for the T20 World Cup held in Sussex, they finished sixth. They ran tournament winners Italy close with Imran Goraya taking four wickets in an 11-run loss, while Imran Asif’s 72 wasn’t enough as they lost by just 8 runs against Sweden. A hundred opening stand between Imran Asif (49) and Lakmal LP Kasthuriarachchi (50) helped them to a six wicket last-over win against Norway. A 14-run win against Gibraltar was followed by a heavy nine-wicket reverse against Guernsey, while France proved too strong in the placings match.

The Austrian squad at the 2011 European Championship in GuernseyThe Austrian squad at the 2011 European Championship in Guernsey (© CricketEurope)

There was a gap of four years before they played in ICC competitions again, where they finished fourth in the six team Division One event held in The Netherlands, the highlight being Shadnan Khan’s 119 in victory over Sweden.

Mahammad Zalmai during his innings of 77 against Belgium in the 2017 European Division 1 encounterMahammad Zalmai during his innings of 77 against Belgium in the 2017 European Division 1 encounter (© CricketEurope/Sander Tholen)

They also played in the 2018 tournament, also in Holland, where 18 teams were split into three groups. They finished third in Group A behind Denmark and Germany, winning three games against France, Germany and Portugal.

They were awarded Associate status in 2017 and played fibe T20I’s in 2019, winning four against Czech Republic (twice), Luxembourg and Turkey, while losing their debut international against Romania.

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

Austria at International Tournaments
View Tournament2018 European Division 1 (Netherlands)
View Tournament2017 European Division 1 (Netherlands)
View Tournament2013 European Division 1 (Sussex, England))
View Tournament2012 WCL Division 8 Europe (La Manga, Spain)
View Tournament2011 European Division 1 (Jersey & Guernsey)
View Tournament2011 European Division 2 (Belgium)
View Tournament2009 European Division 4 (Cyprus)
View Tournament2003 ECC Trophy (Vienna, Austria)
View Tournament2002 European Division 2 (N Ireland)
View Tournament2001 ECC Trophy (Austria)
View Tournament2000 European Representative Festival (Vienna)
View Tournament1999 ECC Trophy (Corfu, Greece)