Auckland build on Cook Island and Samoan connection

Auckland Cricket will continue its involvement with the development of cricket in the Pacific region with today's announcement that it will renew its partnerships with the Cook Islands and Samoa English Cricket Associations.

As part of the ICC Development Programme in the East Asia-Pacific region, Auckland Cricket will once again be engaged in a cricket development partnership over the next 12 months providing development resources and support mechanisms to grow the game in these countries. The Cook Islands and Samoa have been Affiliate Members of the ICC since June 2000.

Partnerships with the Cook Islands Cricket Association and Samoa English Cricket Association began in May 2001 with visits by ACA personnel focusing on coach and player development, introductory cricket clinics and training sessions for elite players.

ACA Director of coaching development Kaushik Patel, who coached the Samoan national team to fifth place in the ICC Pacifica Cup Championships in June, will continue to co-ordinate the partnerships for the ACA.

ACA chief executive Lindsay Crocker said the ACA's continued investment in the growth of cricket in these countries was part of its overall contribution to the game's development.

"In the relatively short time we have been involved, the Cook Islands and Samoa have demonstrated significant commitment and progress to developing the game in their countries. We value the opportunity to not only make a positive contribution to the long term development of cricket in these emerging nations, but also to enhance our own organisational learning and skills," he said.

ICC development manager for the East Asia-Pacific region Matthew Kennedy said: "Both Samoa and the Cook Islands have proven to be proactive within the ICC Development Programme and their cricket is at an exciting stage with many current activities and initiatives relating to the development of facilities and junior programs. This ongoing support will be invaluable in assisting the hardworking volunteer officials and players in both countries to achieve their aims of cricket progression.

"The ICC is delighted to have facilitated a partnership where a professional cricket organisation like the ACA can make a significant contribution to its development program for this region," he added.