Japanese Cricket Captains
Japanese cricket captains are a rare breed. The sport was not organized in the land of the rising sun until into the 80’s; Japan did not compete at the international level until the mid-90’s. Rosters for Japanese national teams only exist in the digital sphere for teams competing in the 2000’s. Japan’s male cricket squad has seen two captains in this time. The female team, one.
- Ema Kuribayashi, born October 6, 1983, is the only captain the Japanese women’s cricket team has ever had. The fact that the team has only had one captain is relatively easy to explain; it has only ever competed in one tournament. This tournament was the IWCC Trophy in the Netherlands in 2003 – it lost all three of its games by wide margins. Since that time the team has played intermittent games in 2006 and 2007 but found little success.
- Ko Irie captained the Japanese cricket team before his successors rise to prominence. He led his team to a number of crushing defeats, though the lackluster nature of Japanese cricket in general is more to blame for this than Irie’s talent or capability as a captain. After losing captaincy, Irie continued to play well. In the 2009 ICC World Cricket League, Irie showed good form but failed to lead his team to victory. He scored a number of points, but the lackluster nature of Japan at the time was insufficient to
- Masaomi Kobayashi is a rising star of Japanese cricket who has captained the national team since replacing Irie in 2009. Despite his preternatural gift, which has seen him eclipse all his countrymen in fame in a few short years, Kobayashi discovered cricket at the age of nineteen. Previous to being introduced to the sport at university, he was unable to distinguish cricket from Lacrosse.
Though Japan is hardly as popular as baseball and soccer in Japan, the steadily increasing visibility of the country’s national team may draw youngsters to the sport and add to this nascent list of Japanese cricket captains.