In a country more associated with fishing than batting, the arrival of cricket netting caused something of a stir at Icelandic customs in Keflavík international airport. The import of netting, a commodity that Iceland possesses in abundance, struck airport officials as eccentric in the extreme.
As work is done to secure a regular indoor training venue more local to the cricket ground in Hafnarfjörður, the purchase of a cricket net was considered crucial by Ihtisham ul Haq, the national team Coach. ‘We imported a bowling machine last year,’ he said. ‘But such equipment only really comes into its own if you have a net to accompany it.’
There are many indoor sports halls in Iceland, but they tend either to be football fields with 3G rubbercrumb artificial turf surfaces, or handball courts with parquet flooring. Neither is particularly suitable for cricket.
It is not the first time that Icelandic customs officials have been flummoxed by the arrival of specialist cricket equipment from overseas. In 2019, a new scoreboard was briefly detained at the airport and so that staff could satisfy themselves it wasn’t a flat-screen television.