Vatican Cricket Team
The Vatican Cricket Team is an amateur cricket team established by the Vatican to help establish ties between the Catholic Church and countries and regions where the sport is popular including India and the Caribbean and to encourage inter-faith dialogue.
Prior to the official establishment of the Vatican Cricket Team, an ad hoc Vatican team played its first (international) match against the Dutch Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club. The match-date was the 13th of September 2008 and the venue being the Stadio dei Marmi. Using an impromptu pitch the Vatican team scored 107 runs for just one wicket. FFOP C.C. was all out for 58, in a 35 over match.
In 2013, the “St Peter’s Cricket Club”, initially the idea of Australia’s ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy, announced its formation. The club was tasked with recruiting players from among the “300 seminarians and priests housed at Catholic colleges and seminaries around Rome”, not therefore citizens of Vatican City. The most talented players were to be invited to join the Vatican Cricket Team, or “the Vatican XI”.
The team itself was established in June 2014, with the initial player list consisting of “priests, deacons and seminarians”, primarily recruited from India. A small number of players from England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan were also included. The team is sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.