The International Cricket Council has announced its regional winners and global nominees for its 2020 Development Awards, celebrating the work of the game’s 92 Associate Members in growing the game of cricket around the world.
In a year fraught with trouble at every turn, Associate Members around the world used the game to impart positive change for their nation’s players, and the wider population.
The ICC has announced four award winners for Africa, Americas, Asia, East-Asia Pacific, with the global winner of the Development Awards decided by an elite awards panel, and to be announced across the governing body’s channels later this month.
Cricket 4 Good Social Impact of the Year: This Award acknowledges the outstanding project where cricket is used as a vehicle for social change or development. Whether it be female empowerment, health, education, or your response to helping communities deal with the challenges of COVID-19, the project will have used cricket as a platform to deliver and impact on wider social development issues during the year.
Asia – Bhutan Cricket Council Board
With the nation of Bhutan going into a total lockdown similar to many countries, players and officials from the national cricket board ramped up their duties as frontline workers.
From food preparation, to border patrols and working in the health sector, coaches, players and coordinators undertook a range of jobs to ensure the safety of their fellow citizens in no less than 15 of the country’s 20 districts.
The number of volunteer projects also jumped, with members of the board helping in quarantine facilities and call centres, even in the midst of a more challenging second lockdown.
Africa – Uganda Cricket Association
As lockdown in Uganda stretched into months on end, restrictions left many in the country in the lurch and not registered on the government payroll for benefits.
In response, the Uganda Cricket Association provided relief through foodstuffs, sanitary items and financial aid, supporting around 1,500 people.
Helping local cricketers, development hubs and the neighbourhoods around Lugogo Stadium, local clubs also benefited from the scheme throughout the months affected by the shutdown.
East Asia-Pacific – Persatuan Cricket Indonesia
Pivoting operations, Persatuan Cricket Indonesia’s Digital Cricket For Good and the #CricketFromHome campaign championed health and safety messages with people stuck at home.
As cricket among other sports came to a halt, Indonesia’s governing body inspired to keep fans busy, providing coaching masterclasses and encouraging budding players to post their innovative training drills from the confines of their own homes.
Indonesia’s push went further through coaching and umpiring webinars supported by the Western Australia Cricket Association and helping over 1,000 participants, to the Cricket Indonesia Bowlers Competition, a virtual challenge with 80 junior contestants from around the country competing from home. The country saw a push in cricket’s popularity, with surges across the country’s social media channels.
Europe – Federazione Cricket Italiana (Cricket Italy)
In a turn to be more environmentally friendly, Italy’s governing body teamed up with fellow Italian organisation Treedom to help offset CO2 emissions by formally planting trees.
Calculating the carbon footprint for the production of cricket bats and other Federazione Cricket Italiana projects, the governing body planted 200 trees in Cameroon, becoming the first sports federation in Italy to introduce a sustainability venture of this nature.
Americas – Cricket Peru
Cricket Peru’s ‘Cricket-ena’ began in the midst of the country’s quarantine period.
Started as a WhatsApp group to encourage junior players to complete drills and training exercises at home, the program expanded through Zoom to bring solidarity through completing classes in large groups.
Broadened further to be a creative outlet for young players, Cricket Peru set out further challenges, with the ‘Create a Bat’ competition tasking students to use their creativity to make a bat at home with whatever materials available.
The global winner of the Cricket 4 Good Social Impact of the Year will be announced later this month.
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