The first definitive mention of cricket in Germany is in 1858 when a group of British and American residents formed a club in Berlin. The sport was gradually taken up by British, American, Australian and Danish residents and by the 1880s it was an important minority recreational activity in the Berlin region.

Berlin Cricket Club was established in 1883, followed by the other Berlin-based clubs of Frankfurt in 1885, Germania in 1888 and Victoria and Stern in 1889. By 1907, the Britannia and Preussen clubs had arisen and the seven teams were competing in the Berlin Cricket League. With more clubs being formed, the League had increased to fourteen teams by 1914.

With the exception of the Berlin Club, all the teams were wings of football clubs and it was not unusual for the leading players to be participants of both sports. In 1913 the club officials came together and founded the Deutsche Cricket Bund as an overall body responsible for the game in Berlin, Nurnberg, Furth, Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Hamburg. The body lasted only a few years, however, and had disappeared by the end of the First World War.

The first international match, loosely termed Prussia versus France, took place on 10 August 1864 when a team of English cricketers from the Paris Cricket Club met an English side drawn from the Frankfurt Club and English residents in Hamburg. The match was played in the grounds of the Kurhaus in Bad Homburg and the French won by an innings and 41 runs.

Cricket recovered quickly after 1918. The presence of the British Army of the Rhine added to the game by attracting touring clubs from England, The Netherlands and Denmark who then included several German clubs in their itineraries. Cricket was no longer the preserve of expatriates, being taken up by German nationals.

In August 1930 a team was drawn from the clubs in Berlin and known as the United Berliners toured England. Captained by Guido Menzel and including his brother Felix, the leading German players of the period, the team comprised twelve German players and an Indian student from Bombay, WR Kirloskar. In the side were A Schmidt, who was the goal-keeper in the German ice-hockey team for 27 years, and Pastor Harold Polchau who became a member of the anti-Nazi Kreisau Group and was awarded the Medal of the Just by the Israeli government for his work during the Hitler regime.

The strongest English side to visit Germany was the Gentlemen of Worcestershire who played two matches in Berlin in August 1937. Since they included five players with first-class cricket experience, it was not surprising that they won both matches easily. The tour only emphasized the rather low standard of play by the local cricketers.

The Second World War almost witnessed the demise of cricket in Germany. By 1945, most of the grounds were destroyed, there was no equipment and most of the players had either left the country or become too old to take up the game again. With assistance from the British army, the Berlin, Germania and Preussen and Victoria clubs restarted and, under the leadership of Kurt Rietz who had played for Berlin against Worcestershire, the Berlin league was revived.

However, very few Germans were involved and the game was almost entirely confined to service personnel and British civilians. With the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, many expatriate players left Berlin and the number of clubs dropped first to two, then just one. However, during the 1960s, Indian and Pakistani students started the game in various German universities both in West Germany and Berlin.

The Germany squad at the 2010 European Division 2 tournamentThe Germany squad at the 2010 European Division 2 tournament

They encouraged their fellow German students to play and by the 1980s a small but thriving cricket-playing community had emerged. New clubs were formed comprising expats, German businessmen and university students. A new Deutscher Cricket Bund was formed in 1988and international matches were started in 1989 with two matches away to Denmark in which Germany was easily defeated.

They were awarded Affiliate status of the ICC in 1991, which was upgraded to Associate status in 1999. They won the ECF Nations Cup in 1992, and were rewarded with a match against the MCC at Lord’s, in which they earned an honourable draw. In 1997 they scored 467 for 1 against Switzerland, with Shamasuddin Khan hitting an unbeaten 200.

Their first ICC European tournament came in 1998 when they played in Division Two in The Hague finishing second behind winners Italy. Highlights were centuries by Marc Broderson against Gibraltar and Gerrit Muller versus France.

They finished runners-up in 2000 and 2002 to Gibraltar, with Gerrit Mueller scoring a century against Gibraltar in 2000, while Zaheer Ahmad took five wickets against France. In Northern Ireland in 2002, highlights were Farooq Ahmad who claimed five wickets against Austria and six versus Gibraltar, plus Anees Butt making 102 not out as they chased 123 to beat Israel by ten wickets.

German squad pen pics from 2000:

  • Hamid Bhatti (captain) German citizen. Member of the national team since 1992 and its captain since 1997. A genuine all-rounder. Right hand fast bowler and left hand middle-order bat. Highest international score of 165 not out against Greece.
  • Zaheer Ahmad: Played top class cricket in Pakistan before emigrating to Germany. Member of the national team since 1997 and one of its most talented players. Right hand fast bowler and sound right hand middle order bat.
  • Abdul Bhatti: German citizen. Member of the national team since 1990 and captain until 1996. Undoubtedly the most elegant batsman in Germany and, arguably, the most devastating. Germany's most prolific run getter at any international tournament. Highest international score of 174 not out against Switzerland (in an unbeaten second wicket partnership of 349 with Shamas Khan).
  • Mark Broderson: German citizen. Represents Husum CC where he has been playing cricket from the age of seven. Member of the national team since 1998. Left hand opening batsman with a highest international score of 104 not out against Gibraltar.
  • Jacob Bumke: German citizen. A newcomer to the team and its youngest member at 20. Captained the German Under 19 team at the ECC Under 19 Championship in Northern Ireland last year. Right hand bat and right hand leg spin bowler.
  • Renald Buss: German citizen who represents Husum CC where he has played since the age of nine. Member of the national team since 1998. Right hand middle order bat and steady right hand medium pace bowler.
  • Shamas Uddin Khan: German citizen. Member of the national team since 1997. Right hand opening bat. Highest international score of 200 not out against Switzerland (in an undefeated second wicket partnership of 349 with Abdul Bhatti). The side's reserve wicketkeeper.
  • David Lorenz: German citizen. Newcomer to the national team. A right hand opening bat who learned his cricket in Australia. Presently captain of Crefeld CC in Nordrhein-Westfalia and the Vice-President of the German Cricket Association.
  • Gerrit Mueller: German citizen. Represents Husum CC where he has played since the age of seven. Member of the national team since 1998. A very correct right hand middle-order bat. Highest international score of 199 not out against France. Was top of the ECC tournament averages in 1998 with a total of 209 runs at 69.67.
  • Christian Musfeldt : German citizen. He returns to the side after having last played in 1997. A left hand opening bat who learned his cricket in Australia.
  • Dilip Nair: German citizen. A newcomer to the national team. Left hand medium pace bowler and powerful right hand bat. In the form of his life, having just taken four wickets in successive balls in a DCB League Cup match and having scored 168 runs in a recent German North League championship game.
  • Ayoob Pasha: Member of the national team since 1998. The wicketkeeper who stunned everybody watching him at the 1998 European Championships in Holland. A useful right hand middle order bat.
  • Christian Petersen: German citizen who represents Husum CC in North Germany where he learned his cricket. A newcomer to the national side. Off-spin bowler and right hand bat.
  • Wayne van Dalsum: A native Kiwi, who has played with some of the best back home. He returns to the national side after having been a member until 1996. left hand medium pace bowler and left hand opening bat.
  • Arshad Razvi: Manager. President of one of the founding members of the DCB, Cosmopolitan CC, which has won more German championships than any other club. Member of the DCB Sports
  • Harold Rhodes: Coach. Ex-Derbyshire and England. German National Coach since 1994 who has brought a more 'professional' attitude to German cricket and to the national team in particular.
  • John Middleton: Umpire. ACU full member. Has run Part 1 Umpires exams for German-based umpires.

They had played in the ICC Trophy for the first and only time in 2001, beating Gibraltar with Mueller making a century, but losing heavily to Namibia and agonizingly (2 runs) versus Nepal despite five wickets from Abdul Hamid Bhatti.

They continued to play in European Division Two featuring in the 2004 (3rd), 06 (3rd), 08 (5th) and 10 (3rd) versions without coming close to winning it. Highlights were Rana Javed Iqbal who took five wickets against Hellas in 2006, and another five wicket haul for Farooq Ahmed against Gibraltar in 2010.

Germany against Mozambique in World Cricket League 5, Jersey 2008Germany against Mozambique in World Cricket League 5, Jersey 2008

They featured in five World Cricket League events, finishing seventh in WCL5 in 2008, 2nd in WCL8 in 2010, 3rd in WCL7 in 2011, sixth in WCL7 in 2013 and fifth in WCL5 in 2017.

In the WCL8 competition Milan Fernando (151) and Asif Khan (109) shared a second wicket stand of 262 against Gibraltar – a World Cricket League record, while Kashif Haider’s 8 for 25 against Bahamas was only bettered by Mahaboob Alam’s ten wicket haul for Nepal.

Germany at the 2008 European Division 2 tournament in GuernseyGermany at the 2008 European Division 2 tournament in Guernsey

In the 2011 event, Javed Iqbal took 6 for 25 against Japan and 5 for 25 against Kuwait, while skipper Asif Khan made 100 versus Botswana, while in 2013 they were involved in a tie with Botswana when they finished bottom of the group. That led to a spell in the wilderness but they returned in 2017 where they beat Ghana, the Cayman Islands and Guernsey to finish fifth. Vekatraman Ganesan hit 123 against Guernsey.

The switch of emphasis to T20 cricket by the governing body saw them take part in ICC Europe Division One in 2011, where they managed a tenth place finish out of twelve teams, recording wins against Belgium, Israel and Croatia. In 2013 they finished seventh, beating Norway by one run in the classification match. Another structural rejig saw them in Division Two in 2016, but the growing strength of cricket in the country, buoyed by a massive influx of refugees, saw them clinch the title in Sweden.

The number of clubs in the country expanded rapidly, with the governing body struggling at times to cope with the rapid expansion as the sport gained a serious footprint. The good news continued as they made it back-to-back titles as they clinched Division One in The Netherlands in 2017, helped by hundreds from Mudassar Muhammad against Austria and France as he finished the leading run scorer, while two fifties from Daniel Weston saw him gain fourth pace in the run charts. There were also five wicket displays from Shahil Momin and Sajid Liaqat against Norway and Austria.

Mudassar Mohammed batting against France in 2017Mudassar Mohammed batting against France in 2017

Despite losing to Austria and Denmark they managed to get one of the qualifying slots for the 2019 ICC Europe T20 WCQ held in Guernsey. They played a total of five games in the build-up, defeating Belgium three times, but losing twice to Italy.

They had an excellent qualifying tournament, as helped by County player Craig Meschede they won four of their five matches but were pipped by Jersey to the qualifying slot by 0.04 on NRR – their loss to Italy proving decisive. They have also featured in their ranks in recent times former Durham player, South African Michael Richardson, plus former Afghanistan international Izatullah Dawlatzai.

Their women's side has emerged in recent years and this year beat Austria in a five game series with a series of record breaking performances, including hundreds from Janet Ronalds and Christina Gough.

The German men played two T20I’s against Spain in 2020, sharing the spoils. They have played 12 T20I’s to date, winning eight and losing four to stand 33rd in the ICC rankings.

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

Germany at International Tournaments
View Tournament2018 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)
View Tournament2017 WCL Division 5 (South Africa)
View Tournament2017 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)
View Tournament2016 European Division 2 (Stockholm, Sweden)
View Tournament2015 European Division 1 (Jersey)
View Tournament2013 WCL Division 7 (Gabarone, Botswana)
View Tournament2013 European Division 1 (Sussex, England)
View Tournament2011 WCL Division 7 (Gabarone, Botswana)
View Tournament2011 European Division 1 (Jersey & Guernsey)
View Tournament2010 WCL Division 8 (Kuwait)
View Tournament2010 European Division 2 (Guernsey)
View Tournament2008 WCL Division 5 (Jersey)
View Tournament2008 European Division 2 (Guernsey)
View Tournament2006 European Division 2 (Scotland)
View Tournament2004 European Division 2 (Belgium)
View Tournament2002 European Division 1 (N Ireland)
View Tournament2000 European Division 1 (Scotland)
View Tournament1998 European Division 1 (The Netherlands)