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Denmark Eye the Step Up

 

    

In a nation where football is considered as a national sport, pastime, and obsession, cricket has a longer, if not quite as successful history. The game was first brought to Denmark by English railway workers in the mid-19th century. A wave of Pakistanis came to the nation in the 1960s and their devotion to cricket has stood the test of time. Their descendants now represent the vast majority of youngsters taking up the game. The new generation of Danes’ enthusiasm for the game has prospered and will continue to thrive, as the country’s cricket board, the Dansk Cricket Forbund (DCF), has thrown full support in the development of cricket in Denmark. Cricket has endured a challenging time in Denmark, since the DCF was admitted to the ICC in 1966 as an Associate member. In those 46 years, the nation has produced a handful of first-class cricketers. The list is headlined by Derbyshire‘s Ole Mortensen, who claimed 434 wickets at an average of 23.88, and more recently Amjad Khan, who obtained British citizenship and played one Test for England in 2009.

The national team has been on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup on a number of occasions, with a semi-final loss to Sri Lanka, a fellow lightweight at the time, in the 1979 ICC Trophy arguably the most notable. Still, Denmark is a side on the rise in the sport of cricket. They are the current European Division 1 champions after defeating Guernsey in the semi-finals and then Italy in the final of the ICC European Division 1 last July, qualifying for the Dubai WC qualifiers in the process. Just like cricket, another sport which has captured the imagination of Danes worldwide is poker. The card game is now considered a sport, with various tournaments held annually to determine the game’s champions. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is arguably the most popular of all the tournaments where you can see top poker players from all over the world compete for the honor of being the best in the world. Denmark is no stranger when it comes to producing world beaters, with poker players like Gus Hansen, Theo Jorgensen and Peter Eastgate to name a few. Most of them started to hone their skills on online poker sites like Partypoker. Partypoker is one of the world’s largest and most reputable online poker sites and is also an official partner of the World Poker Tour (WPT). Signing up online is very easy and one can join the many games that they offer. Although both cricket and poker are still relatively new in Denmark, many are upbeat and excited about the prospect of the game gaining and maintaining its popularity. With television stations frequently showing cricket competitions all over Europe, as well as the mainstream press providing coverage, it is sure to catch up and capture the fans imagination.

The DCF is upbeat about the Danish side’s chances of climbing the ICC rankings in the next couple of years. And with the proper training, love for the sport, and the help of generous sponsors along the way, the future of the sport of cricket in Denmark looks very bright indeed.

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