ICC Trophy top five set for windfall
Speaking at the opening match between Ireland and Bermuda at the Civil Service Sports Ground, Mani said that the ICC would be providing record levels of funding to help boost the development of the sport in these countries. "As well as the current ICC funding provided to the top associate member nations, we will be making available an additional $US 2.5 million of High Performance support to the five teams that will be competing in the World Cup"
"This funding will provide each nation with up to $US 500,000 of funding to be targeted at coaching, infrastructure and development over the next four years," he continued. "It will ensure they are supported in their quest through to the next World Cup and beyond. This is the ICC's largest-ever High Performance grant to our associate members and our Richard Done (the High Performance manager) will be working very closely with these countries to ensure they derive maximum benefit from this cash injection."
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, added that the ICC's support of the successful nations was not purely financial. "As well as access to these funds and Richard's experienced assistance, we have also rewarded these top-performing associate members by extending our definition of one-day International cricket. In the past official one-day Internationals have only included matches involving our ten Full Member countries, Kenya - which has had One-Day International status since 1997 - and all matches during major ICC one-day events and the Asia Cup.
"From 1 January 2006, any match played between any two of our top 16 sides will have the potential to be an official one-day international, opening up the premium category of one-day cricket to the top five teams from the ICC Trophy. These nations will have the prestige and security of ODI status for these matches all the way through to the next ICC Trophy in four years time and they will gain valuable experience under the same playing conditions as the World Cup. These initiatives provide an opportunity to make a lasting positive impact on the development of cricket in these countries."
The same financial arrangements and status will also be available to Kenya, which has already qualified automatically for the World Cup.