The gentlemen’s game of cricket is promoting harmony according to the delegates of the Greek Cricket Federation who are here for this weekend’s Antipodes Festival.
The president of the Australian-Hellenic Cricket Federation Nick Hatzoglou said that Greece could learn from experiences in Australia. As the coordinator of the AFL Multicultural Program, Mr Hatzoglou told Neos Kosmos: “Sports bring people of diverse backgrounds together and we have learnt from our past experience growing up trying to play cricket.”
The delegates recognised the potential of expanding cricket in Greece through Pakistani and Indians immigrants who have made Greece their home. “Cricket is a bridge to racial and cultural harmony” said Mr Hatzoglou. Iosif Nikitas, the president of the Greek Cricket Federation agrees, “there is potential for Greece to utilise the over 50,000 Pakistani and Indian immigrants living in Greece to grow the game”.
Mr Nikitas pointed to cricket as bridge to Greek Diaspora, from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and England. Vice-president of the AHCA, Phillip Evangelides told Neos Kosmos that “cricket brought Greek and Diaspora communities in Corfu.” “In Corfu, everyone knows cricket,” he said. “It’s been there since 1824, but it is in Athens that we want to promote cricket. The Greek Secretary of Sport has promised a new ground in Athens for cricket. “We’ll soon have an ACG,” Mr Nikitas said. “It may not rival the MCG but it’s a great beginning.” The Greek Cricket Federation will have a stall at Antipodes Festival this weekend to give Hellenic cricket as much exposure as possible.