February 22, 2024

Bowling over Pyongyang: How a Chinese club brought cricket to North Korea

A wild idea over drinks led group of Commonwealth expats to bring Golden Ducks, cucumber sandwiches and more to the DPRK

Cricket is one of the world’s oldest and most popular sports — but also one of the most niche. The “gentleman’s game” is played almost exclusively in countries that made up the former British Empire. Complex rules make it daunting to understand for the uninitiated. Traditionally it was a pastime of the elite.

All of these factors have conspired against cricket gaining popularity in North Korea, a country fiercely opposed to external influences and famous for its militant denunciations of colonialism and its vestiges.