In a historic show of co-operation and commitment, delegates from 15 cricket associations from the Caribbean, the Atlantic islands, and North, South and Central America officially formed the Cricket Council of the Americas at a meeting in Antigua from 3-5 April, 2001.
Belgrano cricket
Cricket in Argentina
Photo CricInfo
The cricket associations that are members of the Cricket Council of the Americas are: West Indies Cricket Board, Argentine Cricket Association, Bermuda Cricket Board of Control, Canadian Cricket Association, Cricket Association of Cuba, United States of America Cricket Association, Bahamas Cricket Association, Belize National Cricket Association, Cayman Islands Cricket Association, Turks & Caicos Cricket Association, Panama Cricket Association, Chile Cricket Association, Brazil Cricket Association, Paraguay Cricket Association, and Costa Rica Cricket Association.
WICB Vice-President Clarvis Joseph was elected president of the new body which becomes the fourth regional Council recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), together with similar Councils in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Other Executive committee members include: Vice-President (North) - Dr Geoff Edwards of Canada; Vice-President (South) - Richard Lord of Argentina; ex-officio - WICB CEO Gregory Shillingford; ex-officio Secretary - Andrew Sealy - of the WICB; Member - Reginald Pearman of Bermuda.
One of the primary reasons for the establishment of the Cricket Council of the Americas is to deliver more effectively and efficiently the ICC development programme throughout the Americas region, which includes North, South, and Central America as well as the Caribbean.
Chilean team
The Chilean Team 2000
Photo CricInfo
The significance of this initiative is that the region will now be responsible for the strategy and the delivery of its own development programmes as well as tournament management and funding arrangements.
The broad objectives of the ICC Development Programme are to:
(a) Globalise the sport by increasing the number of people who play the game in different countries;
(b) Increase the competitiveness of teams playing cricket, thereby narrowing the gap between the Test-playing nations and the other cricket-playing nations.
The key issues examined during the meeting were:
1. A strategic five-year plan; 2. An operations plan for the current fiscal year; 3. Tournament structures; 4. Marketing initiatives; 5. Financial planning; 6. Coaching and Umpiring; 7. Development strategies.
The immediate focus of the Council is to have one of its associates members emerge in the top three of the ICC Trophy Competition, which is being hosted in the region for the first time this year (28 June - 17 JUly) in Toronto, Canada.
The feature tournaments that will be hosted under the umbrella of the new Council are:
(i) Under-19 World Cup Qualifier in Bermuda (3 - 8 August, 2001); (ii) Western Caribbean Affiliates (venue to be confirmed) in August/September, 2001; (iii) Americas Cup in Argentina (March, 2002); (iv) Western Caribbean Under-15 in Cayman Islands (July, 2001).