Barcelona opens new cricket pitch with inauguration of women's league

Julià de Capmany facility was one of winning proposals in city's participatory budget initiative

Teams from the National Women's League compete on the newly opened Julià de Capmany cricket pitch
Teams from the National Women's League compete on the newly opened Julià de Capmany cricket pitch / Cillian Shields
Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | @pile_of_eggs | Barcelona

April 21, 2024 10:49 AM

April 22, 2024 02:32 PM

Barcelona has a new cricket pitch, as voted for by its citizens. 

This weekend saw the opening of the new sports Julià de Capmany sports facility, located in Montjuïc, with the inauguration of a new women's league

Across Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, eight matches are being played by six different teams to begin the league, with further weekend blitzes of games scheduled through the rest of the year to determine the first national women's champions at the end of the year. 

The new Julià de Capmany pitch has been renovated from a former disused football pitch as part of the city council's participatory budget initiative.

This project, from 2021, gave residents the chance to vote on different projects that would be allocated portions of a total of €30 million funding, with the Catalan Cricket Federation putting forward the proposal of renovating the Camp Julià de Capmany pitch in Montjüic

The cricket pitch was one of the biggest winners of the scheme, garnering the most votes in the first round of voting and second-most in the second and final round, ensuring the funds to give Catalan cricket a brand new base.

The new sports facility boasts artificial grass and offers a new home to women's and youth cricket in Barcelona and indeed all of Spain with the inauguration of the new national league, while men's senior cricket will still be played in the baseball pitch in Montjuïc. 

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Martinez, the president of Cricket España, told Catalan News that "the commencement of the tournament went smoothly" despite a "few snags" ahead of its inauguration. 

Some games were planned to be played under the floodlights in the evenings, but some electrical cables were stolen from the facility in the week leading up to the launch of the league, meaning that all games had to be played during the daytime. 

Nevertheless, Rodriguez Martinez was delighted to see the new facilities for his sport in the Catalan capital, which includes "practice nets at the back, changing rooms, toilet facilities" and "the pitch and the wicket which is especially designed for artificial outfield, and it plays well."


Despite it being a national league with team names of cities from across Spain, the vast majority of the players are based in Catalonia. The team names in the new six-team national women's cricket league are Barcelona Storm, Madrid Royals, Sevilla Scorpions, Valencia Vipers, Málaga Fire, and Murcia Cobras.

Yet, the intention from all involved is to set the groundwork with this new competition and grow the game to the rest of the corners of the country. For the first season, games will be played in the newly opened Julià de Capmany pitch, but the plan is to bring the competition to other cities as soon as possible. 

World Cup ambitions

The International Cricket Council "urges" national associations to have domestic T20 leagues, a short-format version of the sport, and with that foundation in place, "our national ladies can then compete for ICC World Cup qualifiers," the president explains. 

The new pitch, designed especially for women's and youth cricket, offers a new world of possibilities for cricketers in Catalonia and Spain. "These girls have been training in car parks, tennis courts, don't play any league cricket, don't play any cricket at all (before now,)" Rodriguez Martinez explained. "For them, it's been hard."

"We have a world ranking, we are 35 in the world at the moment. But our goal is for the girls to actually compete at a higher level, and therefore we started the league so we can get through grassroots up to senior level and go on to qualify, hopefully, for the World Cup."