We can do it: forced immigration and cricket in Germany PartI

Published:1 September 2020

Germany cricket team

In August 2015, Germany made a bold decision.

Prime Minister Angela Merkel asked Syrians who have sought protection in Germany to no longer need to return to the EU countries where they first landed. In addition, Germany and Austria have opened their borders to forced immigrants trapped in neighboring countries. Hundreds of thousands of people have entered Germany, and by December, about 890,000 were forced to emigrate to Germany in 2015 alone. They came from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many Germans cheered for their arrival and distributed clothes, teddy bears and sweets to immigrants who got off the bus in Munich and other cities.

At the time, Merkel declared that "we can do this."

Germany cricket team

This extraordinary display of "wild culture" or "welcome culture" has had various far-reaching and unexpected consequences for Germany. The revival of men's cricket in the country (migration, especially irregular migration is a deeply sexist phenomenon) is one of these consequences, and emerging cricket is of particular interest. So much so that Brian Mantle, CEO of the German Cricket Club (DCB), appeared as a guest on the emerging cricket podcast to discuss some of these issues.

Since 2015, men’s participation in Germany has increased exponentially, mainly due to the influx of forced immigrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of the 476,510 asylum applications in Germany in 2015, 31,895 came from Afghans. These numbers have increased significantly in 2016, with 745,155 asylum applications and 127,830 Afghan applications.

"Going back ten years ago, we had 70 teams, all of whom came from countries/regions where cricket was played, 95% of them came from abroad... This is basically German cricket, which grew stronger, although there was no real growth. , But have a good time and enjoy the good time of cricket”, Mantle explained in the show.

"Then Merkel opened the border to refugees, and we grew from 70 teams to what we have now (in four years, there were about 370 teams)."

The country currently has more than 6,000 active players and remains one of the fastest growing associate members of the ICC.