An Italian city has banned cricket in parks after a two-year-old boy was struck by a ball while he was on the balcony of his home, dealing a blow to the cricket-loving Afghan and Pakistani migrants there.

The mayor of Bolzano in northern Italy banned the game in the city's parks after the ball struck the boy in the head. The boy, who was on the balcony of his home overlooking a park, recovered from the concussion. He was about 100 metres away from the cricket game.

Bolzano is now restricting cricket to tennis courts and a baseball field. Mayor Renzo Caramaschi said the ban was prompted by an email he had received from the boy's parents about the cricket ball having hit their son.

Italy's small Afghan and Pakistani migrant communities are keen on cricket, but very few Italians play it. Brescia, another northern Italian city, banned cricket in public spaces in 2009.

Bolzano is in the mainly German-speaking Alto Adige region, called South Tyrol by German speakers, which has a mountainous border with Austria.