Cricket started in Luxembourg soon after the UK and Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and sent civil servants to Luxembourg City. In 1976 the Optimists Cricket Club was formed. The Mayor of Walferdange offered the club the use of a small field as a ground in 1978. The Communities Cricket Club started in 1984 and together with the Optimists they organized the Luxembourg side which took part in the 1990 European Cricket Cup in Guernsey in 1990 where they finished ninth out of ten teams.
In 1991 the Optimists moved to a larger ground, again made possible by the Mayor, and also played in the Belgium League winning it in 1991, 94 and again in 95. They started international matches against France and Belgium in the 90s.The Luxembourg Prime Minister Pierre Warner opened the ground named in his honour in 1992.
The Luxembourg Cricket Federation was founded in 1994 and a league established which included seven teams and also a women’s team who played games in Belgium and Germany, as well as matches against MCC.
For many years the expatriate make-up of the game meant that Luxembourg were unable to play in ICC Europe competitions because most of the players could not meet residential qualifications, but that changed as the cricket community became more stable. They were accepted as an Affiliate Member of the ICC in 1998, and Romesh Paul scored their first century in a game against France in 2000.
They took their tournament bow in 2003 in the ECC Trophy in Vienna, but it was certainly a baptism of fire as they lost all six matches to finish last in 11th place, including a real mauling by Greece – 377 to 52.
Undeterred they participated in the six team ECC Representative Trophy in Slovenia the following year where their displays were much improved. Madhu Ramachandran had a five wicket haul against the hosts while there were also fifties for Sanjiv Sawney and Romesh Paul. They also secured their first tournament win beating Bulgaria.
Luxembourg squad 2004: Adrian Wykes, Madhu Ramachandran, Romesh Paul, Anand Pattabiraman, Nishith Gandhi, Sanjiv Sawhney, Sebastian Finch, Benjamin Lougheed, Timothy Andrews, Christopher Thorpe, Lucas Bush, Ben Lyon, Michael West, Manager: Bryan Rouse.
In 2006 they travelled to Belgium for Division Four and finished third by beating Finland, and were unfortunate not to beat Slovenia and Cyprus too.
They again took part in the fourth tier in 2009, when they travelled to Cyprus, finishing fourth out of six teams. Timothy Andrews scored 52 as they beat Slovenia, while Nishith Gandhi’s four wickets weren’t enough as Austria recovered from 41 for 7 to beat them by one wicket chasing 143. Tony Whiteman’s unbeaten half century was pivotal in their win against Finland. They ran out of steam losing heavily to Cyprus and were also well beaten by Switzerland after making just 88 despite 43 from William Heath.
The switch to T20 cricket saw them playing in Division Two in 2011 in Belgium where they finished 8th out of the 11 participants. They lost to Isle of Man, Portugal and Finland, but managed to beat Cyprus in the group stages, before being beaten in the placings by Spain and Finland. Taral Desai (150 runs) was their top scorer and Piran Merkl (8wkts) their leading bowler.
The following year they once again were in the T20 Division Two competition which was held in Corfu. They were disappointing in the group stages losing all five matches, but bounced back a little in the placings where they beat Cyprus and Croatia to finish in ninth place. Their batters found the going tough but Richard Neale’s ten wickets placed him at ninth in the bowling charts.
While this proved to be the last of their ICC tournaments they have been fairly active with matches against Poland and the Czech Republic in 2014, competing for the Central European Cup, while in 2015 they took part in the Continental Cricket Cup winning against Romania and Hungary. In 2017 they travelled to Valletta to play Malta and Hungary.
They played their first T20I on August 299th and made a dramatic start as they skittled Turkey for just 26 to win by eight wickets. They also played Romania, Austria and the Czech Republic.
Despite the Covis pandemic they hosted a tri-series at the end of August featuring the Czech Republic and Belgium. Their record in T20 internationals following these games stand at two wins and six losses, with an ICC ranking of 62nd.
This article was first written by Roy Morgan in 2006 and has been updated by CricketEurope.
|Luxembourg at International Tournaments|
|View Tournament||2012 European Division 2 (Corfu, Greece)|
|View Tournament||2011 European Division 2 (Belgium)|
|View Tournament||2009 European Division 4 (Cyprus)|
|View Tournament||2004 ECC Representative (Ljubljana, Slovenia)|
|View Tournament||2003 ECC Trophy (Vienna, Austria)|