Cricket first began in Norway in the 1960s when Asian immigrants started to organize matches. The first club, Oslo Cricket Club, now known as Sentrum Cricket Club, was founded in 1972 by Pakistanis.

This was followed by Kampen CC, formed by Indian expatriates. Since then the number of clubs grew steadily, forming a 14-team league in the Oslo region, with clubs in Trondheim, Bergen, Drammen, Asker and Stavanger.

Initial growth was rather slow because the winter climate means that football is a competing summer sport both for players and space. In 1996 an advance was made when the Oslo Sports Council were persuaded to provide an artificial pitch and two practice wickets. However, as the number of clubs increased, a single ground quickly proved insufficient, particularly during wet summers when it was unusable much of the time and it was impossible to complete the programme of league fixtures.

Norway team photo

Norway was elected an Affiliate Member of the ICC in 2000, and in 2004 the first ground dedicated to cricket was opened at Stovner in Oslo. The national side competed for the first time in the Five Nations Representatives Festival in Vienna, Austria, in 2000 winning the competition. Majid Zia Butt (111) was their first centurion, sharing a partnership of 172 with Zeeshan Ali, who made 90 as they easily beat Finland to ensure the trophy.

Success did not prevent disputes among the management of the Norwegian Cricket Board on the best way to promote the game. The game was almost predominantly played by players of Asian origin – over 90% - although most were either Norwegian citizens or nationals.

Back in Austria in 2003 they defended their title in the 11-team ECC Trophy, beating Austria, Malta, Greece, Spain, Belgium and Croatia – Zeeshan Ali scoring a century versus the latter.

Ralph Dellor with Aziz AtualThe late coach Ralph Dellor with Aziz Atual

Their squad for the tournament was as follows: Zaheer Ashiq, Nadeem Ahmed, Shahzad Ahmed, Abdul Jabber Ghani, Shahid Mahmood, Shahid Ahmad, Shamoon Chaudhry, Khalid Sheraz, Amir Waheed, Zeeshan Ali, Afzal Mir, Syed Munawar Ahmed, Monim Abdul, Ataul Aziz.

They found the step up to Division Two a challenging one, finishing fourth after losses against winners Italy, Germany and France, although they did manage to beat Israel and Gibraltar.

They were back on form winning the Affiliates (Division 3) tournament in Belgium, going through unbeaten, Shahbaz Butt was their leading run scorer hitting 131 not out against Malta, and 89 versus Belgium, while Shahid Ahmed took 5 for 14 in the win against Spain. Norway were coached at this tournament by Ralph Dellor, the BBC commentator best known for his work on Grandstand and Test Match Special.

Norway Squad: Zeeshan Muhammad Ali (Captain), Shahid Ahmed, Zaheer Ashiq, Aziz Ataul, Sameer Sachdev, Syed Munawar Ahmed, Muhammad Shahbaz Butt Butt, Waheed Aamir, Safir Hayat, Hassan Raza Zafar, Shehraz Khalid, Don Asenge Ponarasa, Khalid Khurram, Arif Mohammad Meer, Mehtab Afsar, Coach: Ralph Dellor, Manager: Mehtab Afsar

Norway squad at the European Division 3 tournament in 2005 Norway squad at the European Division 3 tournament in 2005

They won Division Two in Glasgow in 2006 beating Jersey in the final, having lost heavily against them in the group stages. The promotion saw them playing in Division One in Ireland in 2008, but they finished bottom, failing to win a match against their battle hardened and semi-professional opponents.

They finished fourth in Division Two behind hosts and winners Guernsey in 2010, while in 2011 in the expanded Division One competition, with the highlight being Zaheer Ashiq’s 4 for 2 against France.

Their first outing in the World Cricket League saw them finish last in the Sixth Division in Singapore, beating Botswana with Aamir Waheed taking 6 for 56. They made their second foray into the World Cricket League when they were in Botswana for Division Seven in 2011, but it wasn’t a success as they were relegated, beating only Japan – Shabaz Butt scoring 98 and taking four wickets. They travelled to Samoa in 2012 for an eight-team Division Eight tournament and despite losing all their group games recovered in the classification games winning twice to claim sixth slot. Tafseer Ali taking 5 for 30 in the win over Samoa. Their last appearance came in 2015 in England where they finished fourth in Division Six. Raza Iqbal taking five wickets against the Cayman Islands.

They have played in European Division One in 2013, 15, 17 and 18 with mixed success. They were beaten by Germany by one run in 2013 to finish eighth, while in 2015 in Jersey they were placed fifth out of six teams, beating only France thanks to Umran Shahzad claiming four wickets. They claimed third spot in 2017 with Raza Iqbal making 104 in the win against France, while Syed Waqas Ahmed took six wickets in the win over Belgium, going on to be the leading wicket in the tournament with 13.

Junaid Sheikh bowling against Guernsey in the 2018 European Division 1 tournamentJunaid Sheikh bowling against Guernsey in the 2018 European Division 1 tournament (© Martin Gray)

In the 18-team Division One competition in 2018 they finished top of their group, winning all five games against Guernsey, Sweden, Israel, the Czech Republic and Gibraltar.

That meant they were one of six teams who participated in the ICC World T20 European Regional finals held in Guernsey in June 2019, but it wasn’t a happy competition for them as they lost all five games, beaten by Italy, Denmark, Jersey, Guernsey and Germany.

These matches were their first T20 internationals and having lost all five, now find themselves 40th in the ICC rankings, having been placed 30th initially.

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

Norway at International Tournaments
View Tournament2018 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)
View Tournament2015 WCL Division 6 (Essex, England)
View Tournament2015 European Division 1 (Jersey)
View Tournament2013 European Division 1 (Sussex, England)
View Tournament2012 WCL Division 8 (Apia, Samoa)
View Tournament2011 WCL Division 7 (Gabarone, Botswana)
View Tournament2011 European Division 1 (Jersey & Guernsey)
View Tournament2010 European Division 2 (Guernsey)
View Tournament2009 WCL Division 6 (Singapore)
View Tournament2008 European Division 1 (Ireland)
View Tournament2006 European Division 2 (Scotland)
View Tournament2005 European Affiliates (Belgium)
View Tournament2004 European Division 2 (Belgium)
View Tournament2003 ECC Trophy (Vienna, Austria)
View Tournament2000 ECC Representative (Vienna, Austria)