History of Cricket in Chile
Cricket is recorded as having first been played in Chile in 1829, in the coastal city of Valparaíso between the officers and men of two Royal Navy vessels. The Valparaíso Cricket Club was founded in 1860, with regular matches scheduled between residents throughout the latter part of the 19th century.
Although no official first-class games have ever taken place in Chile, the first international fixture between Chile and Argentina came in 1893 when it reportedly took the Argentine side 'three and a half days to reach Santiago, crossing the Andes by mule'. Chile now possesses a rich history of international cricket, including three visits by the MCC, in 1960, 2001, and 2007 and a record in the South American Cricket Championship second only to Argentina.
The game's heyday in Chile was in the 1920's when Pelham 'Plum' Warner captained a touring side against a Valparaíso XI, regular matches were played between Valparaíso Cricket Club, the Prince of Wales Country Club as well as the Concepción Country Club, whilst the game was also played by St. Peter's and The Grange School as fiercely as any school in England. The standard of cricket in this era is highlighted by the success of one former St. Peter's student, Frederick 'Freddie' Brown who went on to successfully captain both Surrey and England in the 1950's.
However, as with in many parts of the world, interest in cricket waned following the Second World War as the British community in Chile dwindled and rugby began its rise to popularity amongst schools. By 1960, cricket was no longer played in Valparaíso, despite the cricket club continuing to function as a ladies hockey team. St. Peter's and The Grange played their final match in 1956 - with St. Peter's claiming the final honours.
Nevertheless, cricket was kept alive by the Prince of Wales Country Club throughout the 1960's and in 2002, following the formation of the Asociación Chilena de Cricket (ACC), Chile was admitted as an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council and has since concentrated on junior development to ensure a healthy future for the game for years to come.
There are now over 2,000 children involved in all levels of junior cricket in Chile, with a competitive national team at U13, U15 and U19 levels.
The senior national team plays in Division 3 of the ICC Americas Championship, finishing second in the 2008 tournament, ahead of Belize, Peru and Brazil.