Meet the three new ICC Members

Meet the three new ICC Members

A trio of nations have joined the ICC as Associate Members.

Accepted and signed on during the ICC’s Annual General Meeting in Birmingham, Uzbekistan, Cambodia and Côte d’Ivoire became the game’s youngest Associates.

Alongside a cut of ICC funding for cricket development and other benefits for the development of the game, new Members can enter pathway tournaments for global ICC events.

Cambodia

Cambodia juniors have taken up the sport with aplomb.

State of Cricket

Established in 2011, the Cricket Association of Cambodia (CAC) became a member of the Asian Cricket Council in 2012, with the game started in the country by a group of expatriates, as well as Cambodians returning from Australia, England and other parts of the established cricket world.

A men’s national team played unofficial internationals against a Malaysian Development squad as far back as 2019, with forthcoming tours leading to success.

“We visited Myanmar in 2020, playing three T20s and two 50-over matches. We won all matches, and recently we played matches in Singapore,” CEO of CAC Manish Sharma told ICC Digital.

Below the national team, the game has seen an even more encouraging level of progress, with a boom in Cambodian youth taking up the sport. The junior cricket programme is bolstered by a number of qualified local coaches, while 400 registered players take part in cricket activities at the senior level across 14 registered clubs in the country.

“In past years we were trying to catch up with the eligibility criteria of the ICC,” Sharma added.

“We found in 2020 we had ticked all the boxes.” 

Cambodia’s membership subject to the board demonstrating it has a satisfactory women’s pathway in place by the end of the year.

What ICC Membership brings

While the timing of their approved ICC Membership means they miss out on ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 qualifying, Cambodia will more than likely feature in official bilateral T20Is in the near future, given their proximity to Thailand and other Associate Members in the region.

Cambodia takes the Asian representative tally to 25, and the national governing body should now receive extra support from national and continental organisations after legitimising their ties with the game’s international governing body.

“We are going to get access to funding to develop the sport in Cambodia, and the players in Cambodia are going to be able to demonstrate their talent on the international level,” Sharma added.

“Currently we have one ground and the second ground is almost done, by the end of this year and Cricket is included in the Southeast Asian Games of 2023, held in Cambodia for the first time. It’s a big thing for us.

“We think we are almost there (ready to play official international matches), it all depends on ICC events.”

Listen to the 100% Cricket Podcast on:

Côte d’Ivoire

Membership comes at a turning point for Côte d'Ivoire

Membership comes at a turning point for Côte d’Ivoire

State of Cricket

Cricket in the Francophonic regions of Africa is not a new phenomenon by any means, though with little cricket media cut-through and language barriers, progress has been hard work.

Joining the likes of Rwanda, Mali and Cameroon among others to have become ICC Members from French-speaking backgrounds, the Côte d’Ivoire Cricket Federation has made significant strides forward in the last seven years in spite of the difficulties.

The country now boasts a rigid grassroots programme and national senior leagues, as well as training courses for players and coaches that date back to Abidjan sessions in 2015. Players and coaches have travelled to other parts of Africa to develop their skills, while the board maintains strong ties with Nigeria.

Notably, they have also taken several initiatives to grow women’s cricket, including the appointment of a female Board member to drive this agenda.

What ICC Membership brings

Membership and the funding that comes with joining the club of Associates comes at a critical time in the game’s development in Côte d’Ivoire. Previously relying on small grants from the national ministry of sport and donations from stronger African members, the extra money should provide the country breathing space.

National team play is not top of Côte d’Ivoire’s priorities, though they have a number of geographical neighbours where bilateral play would be mutually beneficial.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of three new ICC Members

Uzbekistan is one of three new ICC Members

State of Cricket

Some attribute Afghanistan’s cricket success to the growth in the Central Asian region, with Uzbekistan joining last year’s 2021 ICC Member entrant Tajikistan as nations with Associate status from the region.

The Cricket Federation of Uzbekistan was registered in 2019, with President Aziz Mihliev looking back to his time studying in India as inspiration.

“The first ever cricket played in Uzbekistan dates back to 2007 when the embassy of UK organized friendly matches between cricket playing nation’s embassies operating in Uzbekistan.

“I was an exchange student at St Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences in Bangalore, India. This is where I first came across cricket and started playing with my fellow mates.

“In 2019, I along with my partners on business decided to start cricket in Uzbekistan and approached the Ministry of Justice where the ministry welcomed us and registered the Cricket Federation of Uzbekistan.

300 players have picked up the game over the last three years in the country, though a select group of players have streaked ahead in their development, and forming a domestic rivalry in the process.

Barlos and Afrosiyob are the two sides that often go toe-to-toe, with their meetings becoming regular a story in national news, and watched on by the country’s National Olympic Committee. The Cricket Federation of Uzbekistan’s women’s cricket plan involves 15 teams playing organised competitions, with a pathway programme for their Under-19 and Under-17 players.

Cricket is best played from May to September, with temperatures in the other months likely too cold for play.

What ICC Membership brings

Funding and status comes ahead of Uzbekistan’s planned cricket ground construction, with a facility in Tashkent likely to be a base for both operations and elite-level play.

“We’ve started constructing a turf pitch (7 pitches in a row) stadium. Now, ground levelling and pitch filling had started. The ground is fenced, with water, and electricity connections provided.”

An eight-team Uzbekistan Premier League will likely run after Covid complications stifled earlier plans, while bilateral play with Tajikistan looks on the agenda. Uzbekistan has hosted visits from Tajik cricket representatives in times gone by, and improved geo-political relations with their neighbours will only help the bond when bat and ball are involved.

“Overall, ICC is a lighthouse for CFU to find the right direction,” Mihliev sums up.

“With the help of ICC we can develop our cricket in a professional way. We get training for our coaches, umpires, curators and matches for our cricketers.”


#Meet #ICC #Members

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.