The dramatic growth in popularity of cricket worldwide has been emphasised in the latest development figures released by the President of the International Cricket Council, Mr Malcolm Gray today.
Membership of the ICC has jumped from 45 to 84 countries since the ICC Development Program started in 1997.
"Latest members include a wide range of exciting countries including Brazil, Chile, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Croatia and the Cayman Islands", Mr Gray said.
"The ICC is now spending over $11 million a year on developing cricket throughout the world," he said.
"Locally, $700,000 a year is being invested in the East Asia - Pacific region which includes Australian neighbours such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Samoa, South Korea, Tonga and Vanuatu", he said
In 2001, the ICC set the strategic objective of a 30% increase in the number of cricketers worldwide by 2005.
Mr Gray said that already in our local East Asia-Pacific region in the last two years we have achieved:
Other current developments in the region are:
Mr Gray said the continued growth of cricket in the region was reflected in the worldwide emphasis on participation and development of the game at both the grassroots and also at a representative level under the ICC High Performance Program Manager, Bob Woolmer.
For further information, please contact the ICC East Asia - Pacific Development Office on +61 3 9653 9921 or 0409 218 883.