Keralite makes a mark on Hungarian cricket

Amal Jacob
Amal Jacob. Photo: Facebook/amaljacobtheduke

Kottayam: While cricket fans from across the world are sitting glued to their television sets watching the ICC Men's T20 World Cup tournament being hosted by the West Indies and the United State, a family in Kanjirappally, near here, is keenly following the matches of the Europe Sub-Regional Qualifier for the 2026 T20 World Cup. 

Amal Jacob, a member of the Kalappurakkal family at Vanchimala, is part of Hungary's T20 squad which is competing in the 10-team tournament being held in Italy.   The 30-year-old Amal is an IT engineer by profession. Based in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, Amal started playing cricket only three years ago. During his school and college days, Amal's favourite sport was badminton. Even after moving to Hungary, he had continued to play badminton as a leisure activity after office hours. 

The turning point in Amal's life came when he joined the Budapest-based Cobra Cricket Club three years ago. Amal made an instant impact and caught the attention of the club management. The Cobras qualified for the European Cricket League and Amal was a key member of the squad. Subsequently, Amal received his maiden call-up to the Hungarian national team as a reward for his fine show at the club level.   

A right-handed batter and left-arm orthodox spinner, Amal made his international debut against Portugal in Hungary's opening match at the European qualifiers on June 9. In the three matches he has played so far in the qualifiers, Amal has scored 28 runs besides picking up a wicket. 

Amal's parents are K J Jacob, a retired Indian Air Force officer, and Mercy Jacob. Jacob has also been a trainer of water sports.  

Amal, who secured second rank in Mechanical Engineering from Kannur University, later made a career switch and pursued Information Technology. Apart from cricket and badminton, he is also passionate about music and has learned to play the guitar. 

The 2026 T20 World Cup, co-hosted by India and Sri Lanka, will feature 20 teams, with 12 earning direct qualification, and eight teams will be decided through the ICC's regional qualifier pathway.

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