Cricket has been played by the British services in Cyprus for many years but only in the 1990s was an effort made to spread the game to other British residents and to the Cyprus population.

The game soon had a ten team club league on the island, and there were regular fixtures against touring English sides.

They were awarded Affiliate membership of the ICC in 1999 and played their first ICC Europe competition in 2006 when they participated in the Division Four Championships held in Belgium, alongside Finland, Luxembourg and Slovenia.

The ground at Happy ValleyThe ground at Happy Valley

They started with a hard-fought two wicket win against Slovenia. Chasing 119 thanks to an unbeaten 42 by Amit Singh. They then made just 60 against Finland to lose by six wickets, although Singha Arthanayake did take 3 for 16. They finished the competition on a high note beating Luxembourg by four wickets Pelawattna Janaka hitting 72 not out sharing an unbroken 7th wicket stand of 84 with Dineja Agathocleous (41*).

Their squad was as follows: Michael Kyriacou, Sampath Tsangarides, Dhanuka Agathocleous, Dineja Agathocleous, Christos Markides, Christos Vassiliades, Sunil Gururaj, Vishnu Naik, Vijay Khandelwal, Amit Singh, Anil Nair, Singha Arthanayake, Pelawatha Janaka, Manager: Richard Steenhuis.

Back in Belgium the following year for Division Three they finished seventh in the eight-team competition where S Fernando scored their first hundred, making 102 in a 23-run win against the hosts. The other highlight was Pelawatha Janaka taking five wickets as they beat Finland by two wickets in the classification match.

Their finest hour in European tournaments came in 2009 when they hosted Division Four and won it in a thrilling finale as they edged out both Switzerland and Austria on NRR.

Michael Kyriacou with the 2009 European Division 4 trophyTMichael Kyriacou with the 2009 European Division 4 trophy

They had two centurions with Kapila Wickramathanthrigie making their highest ever score – 176 not out versus Slovenia. He finished the tournament with an average of 99.67, and was also their leading wicket taker with 11. Anil Nair also hit 103 against Switzerland.

2009 winning Cyprus Squad: Michael Kyriacou, Manjula Kandage, Dineja Agathocleous, Dhanuka Agathocleous, Sarwar Bashir, Syed Hussain, Pelawatha Janaka, Christos Markides, Kashif Mustaq, Anil Nair, Udumulle Sirithunga, Christos Vassiliades, Kapila Wickramathanthrigie , Richard Steenhuis (Manager), Terry Holt (Coach).

They found Division Two in Belgium during 2011 a much tougher proposition and were only able to finish 10th out of the 11 teams. They lost all four of their group games while in the classification matches their sole win came against Sweden.

The Cyprus squad at the European Division 2 tournament in Belgium 2011The Cyprus squad at the European Division 2 tournament in Belgium 2011

They were back in the second tier in the 12 team competition held in Corfu in 2012, and just avoided the wooden spoon by beating Malta – Dhanuka Agathocleous taking five wickets in a ten-wicket win. Muhammad Mohsin enjoyed a prolific tournament scoring 305 runs to finish second overall in the batting aggregates, while his 14 wickets saw him lead the bowling charts.

Alas the great Nick Pink/ICC Europe cull saw them cast into the competition wilderness before they emerged again in 2018 as part of the 18-team European Division One event. They managed one win in their six-team group, beating Austria by eight runs thanks to a half century and three wickets for Shoaib Ahmed. They were beaten though by Denmark, Germany, Portugal and France to finish bottom.

A win for Cyprus against Malta A win for Cyprus against Malta

This was their last competitive match to date, and they haven’t played any official T20 internationals following the expansion decision by ICC.

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

Cyprus at International Tournaments
View Tournament2018 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)
View Tournament2012 European Division 2 (Corfu, Greece)
View Tournament2011 European Division 2 (Belgium)
View Tournament2009 European Division 4 (Cyprus)
View Tournament2007 European Division 3 (Belgium)
View Tournament2006 European Division 4 (Belgium)