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.
Associate Members around the world pivoted to deliver programmes and initiatives that benefited thousands of people, harnessing the power of cricket and its reach in a year full of adversity.
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.
Here are the regional winners and global nominees for the Development Initiative of the Year.
Development Initiative of the Year: This Award acknowledges the outstanding development initiative delivered by an Associate Member, either through a physical participation programme or a digitally delivered game development initiative during the year.
Africa – Cricket Namibia
After a two-month snap lockdown and during a four-month period of lessened restrictions, Namibia’s Capacity Building project delivered educational programmes and short courses to upskill players, coaches and Cricket Namibia employees.
Admin staff (programme leaders) engaged in various Masters, Degree and Diploma-level qualifications, with project management, marketing, risk management and leadership the focus areas of the initiative. 27 different courses were run through weekly seminars and online platforms for Cricket Namibia employees, while national team players conducted life skills programs with the support of the Udemy Academy.
Weekly development sessions also helped over 280 coaches in earning accreditation across ten towns and opening the door to the implementation of more cricket programmes in the area.
Americas – Cricket Argentina
Simultaneously breaking down the barriers of physical restrictions and harnessing the power of the digital space, Argentina helped the development of the Americas region through online coaching, umpiring and scoring courses.
Running a total of 17 courses in Spanish to grow the base of officials where English is considered a second language, over 250 people across seven countries across the Americas completed Level 1 and Level 2 courses, leading to an establishment of new clubs, electronically-scored matches and a boom in player participation.
Asia – Cricket Association of Nepal
Fighting to re-establish cricket after four years of suspension on top of Covid complications, the Cricket Association of Nepal launched domestic tournaments as restrictions were lifted in the country, organising both men’s and women’s play in 44 districts.
Selection camps were held to build teams for tournaments across the country’s seven states, with representatives of the states going on to play in the PM Cup. Over 4000 players participated along the pathway, with women’s participation outnumbering the men, largely through district tournaments. As a result of building the pathway of competitions and showcasing men’s and women’s tournaments in front of millions of viewers, CAN were able to secure sponsorships and other financial deals to boost the game in the country.
East Asia-Pacific – Vanuatu Cricket Association
Virtually free of Covid, Vanuatu’s game was on centre stage in 2020, with women’s cricket featured through both the Women’s national T20 competition and the Santo Women’s T20 competition. The livestream of cricket was the first of its kind in the country, with the tournament broadcast via local television and globally via Facebook.
The competition on Santo was the biggest ever women’s sporting event on the island, with 350,000 people tuning in across the world, and a million people reached through the tournament’s social media promotion.
Europe – Federazione Cricket Italiana (Cricket Italy)
CricketMania, launched by Federazione Cricket Italiana, is a development program aimed at schools, clubs and sports promotion bodies, aimed to deliver a curriculum to a of range of young people in Italy.
Through initiatives across primary and secondary schools and accommodating for students from ages 11 to 18, and educating parents and teachers about the benefits of the game, cricket has received a boost in popularity among its younger demographics.
CricketMania also secured a partnership with Centro Sportivo Italiano, a not-for-profit organisation promoting sport as a tool for education, growth and social engagement. Through CSI, Federazione Cricket Italiana’s program is acknowledged by the Italian Olympic Committee, and has the ability to reach over 18000 schools in the country.
The global winner of Development Initiative of the Year will be announced later this month.
You’re reading Emerging Cricket — brought to you by a passionate group of volunteers with a vision for cricket to be a truly global sport, and a mission to inspire passion to grow the game.
Support us from US$2 a month — and get exclusive benefits, by becoming an EC Patron.