Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The ICC celebrates cricket’s growing global appeal

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Photo Credit: Gordon.B.Anderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cricket’s emerging nations are today celebrated through the ICC Development Awards where the outstanding achievements accomplished by Associate Members in 2019 are recognised.

The Awards celebrate six different global champions and eight regional winners showcasing the impactful stories of growing cricket across the world. The awards include recognition of mass participation programmes, national team performances, digital innovation and social responsibility – where cricket is used to improve communities around the world. 


Cricket PNG have been recognized for their work in attracting new participants to the game of cricket, with over 235,000 people including a 50% gender split involved in the following programmes.

The BSP School Kriket, PNG’s flagship entry level programme entered its 12th year in 2019. It has provided boys and girls access to cricket in PNG where before it was challenging to engage with the sport. The programme is delivered in a safe, gender equal, educational and fun environment.

In addition, the Cricket for Good with ChildFund Australia pilot project took place between August and December 2019. A youth-focused programme that aimed to positively unite, inspire and empower the communities to improve education and attitudes towards gender equality. This was achieved through a life skills curriculum with an intensive, in-country training programme for facilitators.

Cricket PNG Spokesperson: “On behalf of Cricket PNG we are honoured to have received this prestigious award. It gives recognition to our hard-working community development teams within the BSP School Kriket and Cricket For Good programmes.

“We use cricket as a vehicle to drive social change and education in our communities, the value is evident when you see the numbers and results of these programmes. They both promote the spirit of cricket in a positive and inclusive way and have been the introduction to our sport for many of our national team stars.”

In this category there are also four regional winners which include Botswana, Brazil, Malaysia and the Netherlands.


The Cricket Builds Hope female empowerment programme in partnership with the Rwanda Cricket Association which uses cricket as a tool for social change among disadvantaged women, has won the 100% Cricket Female Participation Programme Of the Year award.

The programme involves women aged between 15 and 25 living in the Gahanga Cricket Stadium area in Kigali.  Participants are immersed in a curriculum that combines cricket-specific sessions together with courses in business and leadership. More than 300 women took part in the partnership in 2019 and this formed part of Rwanda Cricket’s vision to make cricket a game that is gender balanced.

Eddie Balaba, Rwanda Cricket Association President: “It’s exciting to know that the programme we started in partnership with Cricket Builds Hope in 2018 has been recognized globally. It is a wonderful programme that helps young women that live around the Gahanga Cricket Stadium to attain skills both in leadership and business management. It’s been running for the last two years, and we look forward to these women moving on to more empowered and rewarding lives.”

In this category the four regional winners are Bhutan, Chile, Indonesia and Scotland.


Cricket Namibia have been awarded the ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year award, for the must-win game against Hong Kong in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in April 2019. The victory secured the African team One Day International status for the first time in 16 years and a place in the Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 (CWC League 2) as part of the qualification pathway for Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

JP Kotze (148) and Stephen Baard (122) set up a winning score of 396 runs before some clinical bowling led by JJ Smith and Jan Frylink, secured a victory by 151 runs. Namibia were crowned champions of the tournament and secured their spot in the newly established CWC League 2 and a shot at qualification for India 2023.

Johan Muller, Namibia Cricket CEO: “Cricket Namibia want to acknowledge the guidance and support provided by the ICC and especially the Africa office. To qualify for ODI status and the T20 World Cup in the same year are magnificent achievements on which we are extremely proud. Credit must go to every administrator, Board member and player who set up and fostered the game in the country for the last twenty years.”


Thailand have been awarded the ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year for their crucial and thrilling two run win against Ireland, in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in August 2019.

ICC Emerging Player of the Year for 2019 Chanida Sutthiruang took three wickets for 14 runs in her four overs and leg-spinner Suleeporn Laomi claimed 3 wickets for 17 runs after Thailand had posted 92 runs. The match went down to the last ball and Thailand secured victory over a higher ranked Ireland. The win meant that Thailand played for a place at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 against PNG, who they beat and secured qualification to their first ever ICC World Cup.

Sornnarin Tippoch, Thailand Captain: “We are extremely proud and humbled to be receiving this award. We would like to thank all involved in giving us this recognition.  We will continue to work harder and challenge ourselves to put Thailand on the global stage.”

CRICKET 4 GOOD INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – Winner Japan Cricket Association

The Typhoon Hagibis Recovery Project was an opportunity for the Japan Cricket Association (JCA) to give back to the home of cricket in Japan. On 12 October, 2019 Typhoon Hagibis devastated Sano City, with more than 2,600 homes and many industries severely damaged together with four out of the six cricket grounds in the city.

The cricket community in Japan contributed cleaning supplies and tools, 38 days of work from the cricket community including more than 300 volunteers from around Japan, ongoing assistance for two months by JCA staff and the Sano International Cricket Ground has now become a designated heliport in the case of any further emergencies to help the recovery efforts.

The project has helped to break down cultural barriers and shown the international nature of cricket in a more human way than before with the power of sport helping to unite communities.

Naoki Alex Miyaji, CEO Japan Cricket Association: “I would like to thank all of the support extended to the city and the people of Sano. Also, I would like to congratulate all the volunteers from the cricket community who came to Sano and showed extraordinary solidarity to the population of the city.”


Cricket Finland have been recognized for digital innovation in their coverage of cricket in coordination with the national broadcaster. With a 34% increase in Associate Member Men’s bilateral T20 matches in 2019, Finland used the Spain T20I series in August to livestream T20 International cricket to a growing fan base.

The coverage which also provided English and Finnish commentary, achieved 470K views on YouTube alone, while the viewership of domestic matches has stayed at a considerably higher level. The live stream production enables the sport to be accessed by the population of Finland.

Andrew Armitage, Chairman and National Development Director, Cricket Finland: “It is a great honour for Cricket Finland to get global recognition through this prestigious ICC award. This shows the result of the planning and execution from our Cricket Finland team, mainly volunteer-based, which has enabled partnerships to be forged and developed to showcase our FPL T20 games across the globe.

“Warm thanks to the special group of volunteers, who have made it all possible. Thank you also to all our partners, fans, and spectators, who share our passion for growing the game and drive us to keep pushing back the boundaries to making cricket truly global in our lifetime.”

ICC General Manager – Development, William Glenwright said: “We are committed to partnering with our Members to continue the sustainable growth of cricket and we are extremely proud of what all of our Members achieved in 2019. The ICC Development Awards are a recognition of the work undertaken by the 92 Associate Members, with 14 especially brilliant programmes, performances and initiatives celebrated across six different categories.

Photo Credit: Twitter profile picture of @WillGlenwright

“In 2019, participation in Associate Members grew by 14% whilst the growth in the number of women and girls playing has risen by 13% – recognition of the innovative ways that our Members continue to grow the game of cricket. Cricket is being played by more people around the world than ever before; our Associate Members are playing more international cricket than ever before and Associate Cricket is being watched by more people than ever – with 128 million digital views for ICC Global Qualifying events in 2019. At a very difficult time for the game and the world more broadly, it is wonderful to showcase the outstanding work of our Members in 2019 and reflect on some of the stories of their success.”

The winners were selected by an Independent Panel comprised of the following members:

HD Ackerman (Broadcaster), Peter Della Penna (Journalist), Krishnendu Chakraborty (Facebook representative), Natalie Germanos (Broadcaster), Isobel Joyce (Former Ireland captain), Meg Lanning (Player), Nick Pryde (Cricket Administrator, ECB),  Mithali Raj (Player), Phil Simmons (West Indies Head Coach), Lisa Sthalekar (Broadcaster) and Zunilka Whitnall (UNICEF representative).

ICC Development Awards 2019 winners

Gray-Nicolls Participation Programme of the Year – Cricket PNG
100% Cricket Female Participation Programme of the Year – Rwanda Cricket Association
ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year – Cricket Namibia
ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year – Cricket Association of Thailand
Digital Engagement of the Year – Cricket Finland
Cricket 4 Good Initiative of the Year – Japan Cricket Association

Gray-Nicolls Participation Programme of the Year Regional winners:
Africa – Botswana Cricket Association
Americas – Cricket Brasil
Asia – Malaysia Cricket Association
Europe – Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond

100% Cricket Female Participation Programme of the Year Regional winners:
Americas – Cricket Chile
Asia – Bhutan Cricket Council Board
EAP – Cricket Indonesia
Europe – Cricket Scotland


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