The ICC Development Program's first ever Global Award winners were announced today, with a range of winners emphasising the scope of the modern cricket world.
The Development Program Annual Awards have been introduced to recognise the achievements of groups and individuals from Associate and Affiliate ICC Members.
The winner of the best run national body was the Argentine Cricket Association (ACA) for the major strides it has taken in recent years. The ACA now boasts a full-time staff in Buenos Aires and these dedicated administrators have helped grow the sport in Argentina by employing eight coaches to work on youth development.
While maintaining control of a tight budget, the ACA successfully organised the Americas Cricket Championships in March 2002, securing a number of major sponsors in the process, as well as hosting the South American Championships for the fourth time in five years.
All of the Global Awards have gone to those that have helped take the 'spirit of cricket' to a wider audience and fostered an interest in the sport in new places.
On the African continent, Nigeria picked up the award for the best cricket promotional program. The Howzat Cricket Foundation has introduced coaching, umpiring and administration courses to schools and youth organisations, as well as hosting competitions at junior and senior level and organising tours for Nigerian age group teams.
The award for the Volunteer of the Year went to Leona Ford in Cuba. Leona has been working on a full-time but voluntary basis from her home, co-ordinating coaching and training programs for local and national cricketers. She has worked tirelessly, translating manuals and hosting seminars dedicated to the promotion of the sport in Cuba.
Earlier this month regional winners were announced for Africa, the Americas, East Asia-Pacific and Europe. A panel comprising ICC Development Manager, Andrew Eade, two members of the ICC Development Committee, Roger Knight & Zakir Hussain Syed and ICC Development Project Officer, Jenny Fairlamb then selected the global winners from these nominations.
Kenya was among the winners in the Africa region, picking up the award for the Best Women's Cricket Initiative. Uganda meanwhile scooped the awards for Best Run Cricket Board and Best Overall Cricket Development Program in Africa.
Uganda only became an independent Associate member of the ICC in 1998, but cricket there has made great strides in the last five years. In the ICC Trophy 2001 they put together an impressive run of five consecutive victories before losing a play-off to the UAE.
The global winners will receive trophies specially crafted by a London trophy-maker. The other global winners were Samoa, named as best overall cricket development program; Indonesia, the best junior cricket initiative; Ursula Lewis in Ireland picked up the award for the best women's cricket initiative and Israel claimed the Flicx community development award.
ICC Development Program Global Awards winners 2003
Best Overall Cricket Development Program
Best Junior Cricket Initiative
Indonesia Cricket Foundation
Best Women's Cricket Initiative
Ursula Lewis (Ireland)
Best Cricket Promotional Program
Howzat Cricket Foundation (Nigeria)
Flicx Community Development Award
Israel Cricket Association
Best Run National Body
Argentina Cricket Association
Volunteer of the Year
Leona Ford (Cuba)
Further details of the ICC Development Program's Regional and Global Awards are available in the Development section of the ICC website www.icc.cricket.org. The ICC Corporate Affairs department will facilitate interviews for any media wishing to follow up on these awards or the Development Program in general.
Jon Long: 083 417 5518
Mark Harrison: 083 417 5494