September 26, 2001

Bob Woolmer joins ICC as High Performance Manager

The ICC has appointed Bob Woolmer to the new position of ICC High Performance Manager, responsible for working with member countries Canada, Holland, Kenya and Namibia to assist them prepare for the challenge of competing in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

The 18-month contract runs from October up to and including the World Cup. In his new role Woolmer will work closely with countries with different levels of exposure to ODI cricket. Kenya is the most experienced at this level having been granted ODI status in 1999. It has played in three past World Cups and also hosted the 2000 ICC Knock Out. Canada will be going to its second World Cup after qualifying previously in 1979, while Holland too has World Cup experience, having made its debut during the 1996 event in Asia. South Africa 2003 will be Namibia's first experience of senior ODI cricket.

Bob Woolmer
Bob Woolmer
Photo © UCBSA
"Bob knows first hand what it is like to compete at a World Cup and how to prepare for the pressure that cricket at that level brings," said ICC Development Manager Andrew Eade. " In addition to his vast experience he has many innovative ideas about how to bridge the skill gap between Associate and Full Member cricket. He also has a genuine interest in fostering the game globally, so in all respects we could not have wished for a more suitable candidate for this exciting new position," he added.

Woolmer will carry out an initial visit to each country before the end of the year, during which he will hold talks with officials from each cricket board to formulate a program designed to develop playing skills, peaking for the World Cup. It is here that his experience with South Africa will be particularly beneficial.

One part of the build up program already confirmed is the Emerging Nations Tournament, taking place in Namibia in April 2002. The four Associate countries will compete with "A" Teams from two of the Test playing nations.

"My main aim is to help these countries set up programs that allow their players to improve their skill levels. That will involve working with coaches to set up training facilities that will help them train and play in a way that maximises their potential," said Woolmer. " If we are successful in achieving that the model will be there for further countries to emulate, providing a blueprint for the ICC to truly globalise the game."

Bob Woolmer was appointed after an extensive selection process involving high calibre candidates from Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He brings outstanding credentials to the position, as a former Test cricketer with England, highly successful coach to Warwickshire County Cricket Club and coach of the South African national side from 1994 to 1999. During this period he is credited with helping turn the side into one of the best one day and Test teams in the world.

The ICC High Performance Program has a total budget of $US 1 million up to the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Media contacts:
Andrew Eade
ICC Development Manager
Tel: + 44 20 7266 7916 / 1818

Jonathan Hemus/Andrew Baud
Countrywide Porter Novelli
Tel: + 44 1295 224478 / 224398