How it started

15th Century Cricket in Hungary

There have been several attempts made to establish cricket in Hungary, arguably dating back as far as the time of the famous king Mathias Hunyadi (reigned 1458-1490), who took a liking to the game when it was introduced to him by Italians, who had seen it in England. Games were regularly played in his renaissance court. With the death of the king, the game faded away. However, during the Hungarian economic golden age before WWI, cricket was played by members of the high aristocracy, and there was even a cricket shop in Budapest!

1990s

There was a brief re-birth of cricket in Hungary in 1996, lead by the then Sri Lankan Consul Dr Padma Gannoruwa, also an old Kingswoodian who had played for his College first XI in the 1960s. He started a cricket initiative in Budapest, and Hungarians and expats formed a team, playing against visiting teams from abroad, and even a tour to England took place. Unfortunately the game once again faded away, when Dr. Gannoruwa’s diplomatic stint in Hungary finished. You can read more about this period in an article from July 2000 on ESPN Cricinfo.com.

Today’s HCA – it all started in 2006

The HCA as we know it today was initiated by the work of Andy Grieve. Andy was teaching English at Comenius High School in Szekesfehervar and in 2006 he decided to introduce cricket to these lessons as a means to increase participation and interest levels. It worked brilliantly, with trainings quickly happening three times per week, and several of those teenagers are now representatives in the various Hungarian National Team squads.

Andy Grieve, Founder of the HCA as we know it today

Responding to this enthusiasm, Andy Grieve created www.hungary4cricket.com and in October 2006 he made a telephone call to Andrew Leckonby, his football-coaching-colleague at Buda Juniors International Football Club. The chat went something like this:

AG: ‘Hey Andrew do you want to try to get a few guys together for a hit of cricket in a park some time, maybe we can manage to get 20 or so together for a couple games over the summer?’

AL: ‘Sure why not great idea.’

The rest, as they say, is history. In November 2006 a meeting was held in Budapest to lay the groundwork for cooperation on a national level - the participants were Andy Grieve, Andrew Leckonby, David Brown, Adolf Noll, Gyula Kiss and a lawyer. In February 2007 this was followed up by a meeting at Becketts Irish Pub with 15 excited – yet doubtful – attendees. Dunabogdany CC was created, the first HCA Board was formed (Andy Grieve, David Brown, and Andrew Leckonby), and just a few months later the HCA had 6 full teams and a league of approximately 100 cricketers raring to go for its first official season. The fire had (re)ignited, and this time it wasn’t going to burn out.

2012: ICC Accession

Plenty of hard work and lots of cricketing action throughout the years 2007-2011 paid off, as 28 June 2012 brought perhaps the most significant mark of progress for Hungarian cricket: official acceptance to the ICC as an Affiliate Member. The next chapter was ready to begin.

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Previous HCA Boards:

HCA Executive Board history

Feb 2013 - Feb 2015

Adrian Zador (DCC)
Andras Toth
Andrew Leckonby (BBA)
Khaibar Deldar (BF)
Marton Kis, President

Feb 2011 - Feb 2013

Adrian Zador (DCC)
Andrew Leckonby (BBA)
Benjamin Lebor (Pho)
Gabor Torok, President (DK)
Mike Glover (BBA)

Sept 2009 - Feb 2011

Andrew Leckonby (BBA)
Benjamin Lebor (Pho)
David Brown (DCC)
Gabor Torok, President (DK)
Mike Glover (BBA)

Dec 2008 - Sept 2009

Andrew Leckonby (BBA)
Ferenc Zsigri, President (DK)
Gabor Torok (DK)
Matt Watson-Broughton
Mike Glover (BBA)
 

Nov 2006 - Dec 2008

Andrew Leckonby (BB)
Andy Grieve, Chairman (Com)
David Brown (DCC)

 

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Timeline:

 

  • 1458-1490              Cricket played in the court of King Mathias I
  • 2001                       ICC supports a cricket training camp at the University of Pecs
  • 2006                       Students at Comenius school introduced to cricket (two KwikCricket sets sent by ICC)
  • 2007                       After a preliminary meeting in Februrary 2007, May 5th sees first senior game of cricket (Genpact vs Dunabogdany CC)
  • 2007                       July 15th starts the inaugural season of the Hungarian cricket league; all 6 teams include at least one Hungarian native
  • 2008                       Foundation of the Danubian Kangaroos all-Hungarian cricket club. Win first game on 28th June 2008.
  • 2008                       April – cricket is introduced into the official sports curriculum of Peter Pazmany University
  • 2008                       Initial Board of 3 members formed and ratified by all teams in May 2008
  • 2009                       First screening of cricket report on prime-time television (RTL Klub)
  • 2009                       The Hungary women’s team hosts a team from Paris at Gödöllő University
  • 2009                       Hungarian cricketers provide expert commentary  on Eurosport coverage of the ICC World Twenty 20 Cup and the Champions League in India
  • 2010                       Obtained legal reigstration as an official sports’ entity
  • 2010                       Established senior league for 7 teams; second visit to regional T20. Hungarian national team won in Macedonia.
  • 2011                       HCA Board elected for 2 further years by the registered players (Adrian Zador joins to replace David Brown)
  • 2011                       Two leagues totalling 11 teams; MPI 35 with 7 teams and the T20 league with 4 teams
  • 2011                       Hosting T20 tournament including 8 teams from CEE at GB Oval