Russia’s sports ministry has refused to include cricket on its register of officially recognised sports.
The order was issued on 15 July – the day after England’s dramatic Cricket World Cup final win over New Zealand.
Among the sports officially recognised in Russia are petanque, draughts and mini-golf.
Exclusion from the official list does not amount to a ban, but does mean cricket will not be eligible for support from the sports ministry.
Alexander Sorokin, a member of the Moscow Cricket Sports Federation, said the refusal was down to errors in its application for inclusion on the ministry’s register.
He told the TASS news agency the federation would apply again next year for official recognition, adding that he was confident of success.
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, was the other sport not recognised by the ministry in its 15 July order.
Social media users have reacted with derision at the news.
“Cricket is regularly watched by two billion people – it is the most popular sport in India, Pakistan and other parts of the former British Empire. Therefore, they are a little afraid of this Anglo-Saxon game in Russia,” joked popular Twitter account Yekhidniye Tvity (Sarcastic Tweets).
“The sports ministry has refused to recognised cricket and Thai boxing (Muay Thai) as official sports in Russia. Meanwhile, in Russia, there exists a cricket federation and even a national team,” tweeted the RBC business daily.