Despite being one of the world’s biggest and most passionately-followed sports, cricket is almost unheard of the DPRK.
Not having been part of the British Empire the country remained un-exposed to the pleasing thwack of leather on willow (it’s a British Cricket phrase). This until 2008 when, with generous sponsorship from DHL (enabling us to bring in an artificial wicket), Koryo Tours took two amateur cricket teams into the country for an exhibition match, also involving the hastily-formed Pyongyang Cricket Club (made up of Koryo Tours staff, UK Embassy staff, some of our local tour guides, a bus driver, and a cameraman). The format was a 3 way 20/20 tournament over a single day at Taesongsan Park. The victors were the visitors (but the sport of cricket was the real winner that day) and the games went off without a hitch, despite a herd of goats running onto the field at one point, and the quizzical looks of passing local folks and soldiers. Some of the Koreans really got into it (especially the bus driver, who had played baseball when in the army) and it was a fine introduction to this noble sport. The ignominy of getting the DPRK’s first Golden Duck (this may sound like a good thing, it isn’t at all) went to Koryo Tours’ Director Nick Bonner. While cricket hasn’t entered the mainstream of DPRK sporting consciousness, off the back of this first introduction we remain committed to sports development, so anyone wanting to get another match going should feel free to contact us at any time!