In the series of exposing our audience to the far-flung national teams that play Cricket with no less love for the sport than that displayed by the "Elite test playing teams", we are presenting Zambia today!
If you have heard of Victoria Falls, you probably know Zambia. It's a beautiful country in souther Africa, landlocked with rugged yet picturesque terrain, diverse fauna and wildlife. Of course, with plenty of national parks peppered throughout the country. To be precise, there are 20 of them and about 30% of Zambia's 752 614 square kilometres is reserved for wildlife. Pretty neat, isn't it?
Well, talking of Cricket, Zambia made their international debut way back 1930, as Northern Rhodesia. Nothing much happened until the 1990s except for partaking in the East African cricket team that was an ICC member; just like the WINDIES these days. During the early days, their neighbour Zimbabwe had a big influence on Zambians picking up Cricket.
The independence in 1964 actually did the game huge favour because until then the game was considered a privilege and the native Zambians weren't all too eager in picking up the sport due to Rhodesian cricket's links with apartheid South Africa. 4 English county teams visited them in the early 1970s and this gave the game a huge boost in Zambia. Arguably, their best performance was in 2010 when they won the World Cricket League Africa Region tournament, which granted them entry into the 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division Eight.
Let's hope Zambia Cricket continues to prosper and soon we see them in one of the ICC Tournaments playing alongside the established test playing countries.