The International Cricket Council today announced the global winners of the ICC Development Awards for 2020, which showcase the outstanding work undertaken by Members which has continued to grow cricket in emerging markets in partnership with the ICC.
Following the announcement of the 20 regional winners across the four categories earlier this month, Argentina, Brazil, Uganda and Vanuatu have been unveiled as the global winners after their outstanding contribution to the sport through four exceptional programmes in 2020. The winners were identified by a global independent panel consisting of 12 leaders including ICC Full Member Chief Executives, current and former international players, media representatives and other members of the cricket family.
The global award for the ICC Development Initiative of the Year has been awarded to Cricket Argentina for producing 17 coaching, umpiring and scoring courses in Spanish to attract local audiences in South America to cricket. The programme, which was moved online due to the pandemic, resulted in 257 new coaches and provided people with an opportunity to participate in a new sport.
Esteban Mac Dermott, Cricket Argentina CEO explains how these courses have helped engage more people with the sport.
“We managed to get more players and parents involved and at the same time attract people from outside the cricket community. The fact that the courses were in Spanish was imperative to make it available to a wider range of people.
“These courses allowed people with knowledge of the game but no coaching experience to get involved, but also for coaches of other sports with experience in managing groups but no cricket knowledge. I think that balance was the key to having great participation.”
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia Acting CEO who was a part of the judging panel said: “Cricket Argentina demonstrated agility to move to online development courses during COVID-19, achieving strong reach across not only Argentina, but also neighbouring Spanish speaking countries.”
Cricket Brazil has been awarded the 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year after taking a huge step forward in the development of the women’s game in South America by awarding 14 professional central contracts to the women’s national team. Later this year Brazil will return to ICC women’s competition for the first time since 2012, when they participate in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier; a qualification event to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
Matt Featherstone, Cricket Brazil, “Cricket Brazil has always been focused on development and increasing participation and we felt it was the right time to focus on High Performance with no better place to start than our women’s team, who have been more successful over the past five years. Having now given the women’s team central contracts it has given women’s and girls’ a solid pathway to follow.”
Beth Barrett-Wild, ECB - Head of the Women's Hundred & Female Engagement and a member of the voting panel said: “A groundbreaking moment for the sport and an incredible statement of intent that many more established cricketing nations should, and will, be envious of. By prioritising the development and professionalisation of the women’s game ahead of the men’s game, Cricket Brazil have boldly identified the opportunity that women’s cricket presents, and, in keeping with the theme of this award, backed it 100%.
“The impact of this move by Cricket Brazil will benefit far more than the 14 players who are the inaugural recipients of the contracts. From this platform, I’m looking forward to watching the Brazilian women’s cricket team progress in the future.”
The ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year has been awarded to the Vanuatu Cricket Association for providing cricket to fans during the pandemic when the Women’s T20 Grand Final was the only live sporting event available. Vanuatu with a population of only 300,000 used the opportunity to reach over 16 million people through live streaming of the Grand Final and the Vanuatu T10 Blast. This has resulted in more people engaging with the sport and cricket participants in Vanuatu.
Tim Cutler, Vanuatu Cricket Association Incoming CEO said: “Associate nations are consistently striving to grow the profile of the sport and this project was successful in not only promoting Vanuatu Cricket within the country and beyond, but I believe it was also a great ambassador for the sport itself.
“The innovation and commitment shown by the VCA team to get the event up and running while also helping the national broadcaster produce the event to the high standard required by rights holders – the first time cricket was on terrestrial television in Vanuatu – was no mean feat, and it was duly rewarded with astonishing numbers who either tuned in live or caught up with highlights online. We look forward building on the momentum this has created as we seek to continue to grow cricket and the positive impact it has on our community.”
Dane van Niekerk, current South Africa international and member of the global independent panel said: “Not only did they stream their men's games but they also gave exposure to the women, and that for me is very important. As it looks, they have been very busy and proactive in promoting the game and getting the fans exposed to the game of cricket with the resources they have.”
The Uganda Cricket Association has won the Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year for supporting hundreds of their players, volunteers and their families through a COVID-19 relief programme. By November 2020, 1500 people had benefitted by the relief which had reached players, coaches, umpires and school teachers in the form of food, soap, financial aid, psychological support and an invite for people to take part in online courses on financial literacy.
Bashir Badu Ansasiira, Uganda Cricket Association Chairman said: “When we were hit by the pandemic we used the opportunity to give back to the people that have enabled us to spread the game. This includes teachers within the rural schools, groundsmen, national team players and the cricket communities and we are very proud to receive this award.”
Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board CEO representative on the voting panel said: “The excellent Covid relief programme once again shows cricket as a socially responsible sport. UCA has led the way in a country that experiences hardships and financial challenges through their relief program. The goodwill and proactive approach will only further support UCAs efforts to raise the profile of the game in its country.”
ICC General Manager – Development, William Glenwright said: “The 2020 ICC Development Awards have showcased some incredible projects delivered by the Members during an extremely challenging year, with 20 regional winners already celebrated earlier this month.
“Argentina, Brazil, Uganda and Vanuatu have now been chosen as the global winners for 2020 by a panel of cricket’s global leaders. We celebrate four inspiring stories that have made a difference to people and local communities during a pandemic, getting more women and girls into the sport and taking the excitement and competitive nature of Associate cricket to a global audience.
“We are committed in partnership with the Members to build on the momentum achieved over the past 12 months and continue to get more people engaged with the sport and make a difference to the lives of those who enjoy cricket. These rewards are a celebration not only of the global and regional winners but of the work of all our Members who continue to work so hard to bring the joy of cricket to the world during the pandemic”
The global winners have been chosen by a global independent panel of selected ICC Full Member Chief Executives, current and former international players, industry experts, media representatives and other Members of the cricket family.
Pholetsi Moseki, Interim CEO, Cricket South Africa
Dane van Niekerk, current South Africa women's team captain
Johnny Graves, CEO, Cricket West Indies
Peter Della Penna, correspondent at ESPN CricInfo
Wasim Khan, CEO, Pakistan Cricket Board
Irfan Pathan, former India men’s team player
Nick Hockley, Interim CEO, Cricket Australia
Daniel Beswick, correspondent at Emerging Cricket
Warren Deutrom, CEO, Cricket Ireland
Beth Barrett-Wild, ECB - Head of the Women's Hundred & Female Engagement
Karren Rogers, Facebook
Geetanjali Master, UNICEF