Like all long standing traditions, Up Helly Aa is remarkably young, originating in 1888 - long after the Vikings, to whom it pays some kind of tribute, had matured from their wild young lives of ceaseless rape, pillage and sailing to America. FB has to acknowledge that there is relatively little to interest the cricket lover in this Festival. It involves Guizer Jarl and his squad marching about Lerwick in helmets and breastplates before burning their long boat and (the main point of it all) going on to endless celebrations, parties and dances which last through the night. As the official website puts it 'Wednesday is a public holiday to allow for recovery.'
|Orkney vs Shetland |
the 2007 contest
Cricket is also played in Norway where about 4000 play, out of a population of 4.5 million. As is common in many countries, the national team is composed entirely of players of Asian extraction who also dominate the player base. Scotland has played Norway once, when they were briefly in Division One of the European Championship in 2008 - Scotland won by 9 wickets with Sean Weeraratna getting 6 for 24. Norway's fortunes have declined since then and they are now in Division 7 of the World Cricket League.
|Ibsen - cricket a step too far|
|Not a Norwegian cricketer|
As at the time of writing, no Norwegian has played Test cricket.