ICC pledges $1 million support for World Cup qualifiers
Canada, Kenya, Namibia and the Netherlands are to benefit from a US$1m budget allocated by the ICC to support the four non-Test playing countries prepare for the 2003 World Cup.
The money will come from the ICC's Development Program and be used to stage tournaments and tours, provide elite coaching and the services of a dedicated High Performance Consultant.
"There is an enormous gap in playing standards between hardened Test teams of full-time professionals and the part-time players from Associate member countries," commented ICC Development Manager Andrew Eade.
"The aim of this 18-month programme of intensive playing and coaching support is to give the four non-Test teams as much preparation as possible, to meet the challenge of playing in world cricket's premier one-day tournament."
To help the countries prepare professionally, the ICC is planning to engage an experienced High Performance Consultant from one of the Test nations.
"The role will be to develop an individual preparation programme for each country that will help them lift their standards and be competitive with the Test-playing countries. The Consultant will also work closely with myself and the Full Members to ensure every possible support is provided to these countries," said Eade.
The Netherlands qualified for the World Cup as winners of the ICC Trophy in Toronto, with Namibia joining them as runners-up and Canada as the third-placed team in the tournament. Kenya did not participate in the Trophy as it already holds One-Day International status, which guarantees automatic entry to the World Cup.