The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has hailed one of the major benefits Germany can look forward to after tens of thousands of young Pakistani men arrived last year… the newcomers transforming the country into a strong cricketing nation.
Painting Germany as a “wasteland”, the BBC joyously informs readers of vibrancy, and “the sound of leather on willow echoes” as the country’s “abandoned playgrounds” have been brought to life again by thousands of Pakistani and Afghan migrants who we’re told “have brought their sport — and their enthusiasm — with them”.
The BBC points to the huge popularity football enjoys in Germany, whose national team won FIFA’s most recent World Cup in 2014, but notes that the country’s cricket team is paltry by comparison.
Reminding readers of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s promise that millions of migrants would “change the country”, the BBC assures readers that the €100 billion Germany expects to splash out in the next few years, on the mostly illiterate migrants Europeans are frequently told will be paying our pensions, could well be the start of an illustrious campaign of cricketing trophies for the nation that would make every last euro spent worthwhile.
While European Union (EU) figures fret over the record drop in public confidence for centrist parties, the BBC brought the cheering news that German cricket has never been in more rude health.
From 2012 to today the number of cricketers registered with the German Cricket Federation has exploded by an incredible amount just shy of 250%. While previously only 1,500 players were down as being registered with the official sporting body that’s now risen to an expectation-defying 5,000 people, from just 70 teams on the list four years ago to a competitive 220 today.
Ahmad Irshad, the coach and founder of one of Germany’s newest cricket clubs, in the eastern town of Bautzen, told the BBC about the amazing enrichment he and his fellow cricketers have brought so far to the nation. He told the UK broadcaster: “They said this is Germany: no-one plays cricket here”.
“It was really strange and a really new thing for them. I tried my best, I tried to convince them and tried again and then I was able to make them understand.”
From this town of less than 40,000 people who are currently housing more than 2,000 newly arrived migrants the BBC brought what it called a “significant” message to the table, admiring the fact that cricket is now thriving in Bautzen, where earlier this year locals reportedly watched and clapped as arsonists targeted a home for migrants.
Sunny, one of the players, told the BBC if there’s something he can do for Germany it’s to “play cricket and I will show them the game is in our veins.” The migrant said that while Germany “has become the best in football,” the tens of thousands of newcomers to the country will help guide the nation on its way to a glittering future in cricket, too.