Although cricket is thought to have originated in what is now Belgium in about the 14th century, the first recorded match was played at Enghien six days before the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. By 1870 a club had been established in Brussels and by 1880 another had appeared in Antwerp. Both still exist.
Today, cricket is well into a 'third period' of growth: the first came in the early 1900s, the second between the two world wars and the third began in the late 1980s and early 1900s.
The national League consists of four divisions while a less formally operated national Junior League operates with Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 age groups. There is a club-operated midweek T20 competition, an annual invitation Sixes and in addition a consierable number of touring teams visit clubs each season.
At junior level, Cricket Belgium, operating through Cricket Vlaanderen, is committed to introducing cricket at schools and sports camps, and to providing the infrastructure and back-up aimed at ensuring that there is a pathway available rather than just a one-off event.
On the European stage, Belgium has been a committed supporter of the ECC and ICC-Europe for many years with senior national teams taking part in championships and, since 2001, sending junior national sides to European Championships as well. Belgium is the current holder of the ICC-Europe Under-19 Division 2 title and has previously held Under-13 and Under-17 titles.
In 2011 the senior focus will shift towards T20 cricket in preparation for the new ICC-Europe Championship format.
Belgium will host 12 countries for the ICC-Europe T20 Chamionships Division 2 in June. In addition its national squad will travel to La Manga, Spain, for training matches in late April and will take part in the Dutch Continental T20 Championships in July. The national Under-19 squad will travel to the Isle of Man for the ICC-Europe Under-19 Championships in July and prior to leaving a selection will play against a visiting Cricket Academy from New Zealand. Under-13 and Under-15 development sides will also compete in the Dutch junior leagues.
A women's cricket competition is held at Royal Brussels CC each year with a team selected to play home and away matches against Thoiry (Paris). Three countries will also send junior women's teams to Belgium in July for a week-long tournament.