Over the last two years when the world was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, just like any other thing, cricket was massively affected. However, amidst all the tension, the ICC Associate Members came up with some innovative ways to overcome this, which included developing the motor skills of children to make cricket more accessible. Such initiatives in the Associate nations ensured that the game spread far and wide and saw increased participation.
On the eve of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the ICC Development Awards 2021 reflect these achievements and show how Associate Members keep empowering individuals and reaching out to communities.
100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year
This initiative acknowledges the effort undertaken by an Associate Member to promote the game. It could be either through a physical participation programme or a digitally delivered game development initiative during the year.
The launch of the Women’s Island Cricket Program (WICP) in Vanuatu has given an impetus to women’s cricket that is slowly and steadily gathering pace in the East Asia-Pacific region. In the month of October, WICP saw 175 women from Port Vila and Tanna participating in the programme. Apart from cricket, there were many social impact activities undertaken in the one-week-long programme.
Apart from this, in a different part of the world, the Sierra Leone Female Leadership Criiio Cricket Programme was conducted in Africa. It was a unique initiative in which 80 women and girls were trained in event management, cricket umpiring, scoring, coaching, and reporting. The majority of the participants came from school teachers.
Further in Germany, Winterwunderliga was organized which offered an opportunity to females who were new to cricket to play in the winter indoor season. 120 players from Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, and Frankfurt had experienced national team players as their mentors.
In the Middle East, Bahrain created history as it formed its first-ever women’s cricket team. As many as 200 registrations were done. The BCF Women’s League was formed in December 2021, with the national women’s team coming as a direct result of the initiative.
Additionally, in the USA, there was Intra-Regional Women’s Competition, a new league that was set up in June 2021. 12 teams participated in the tournament that saw a mixture of T20s and 40 over matches within four geographic regions. Healthy participation of 160 was witnessed and it was known that many of them were playing competitive cricket for the first time.
Check out the 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative and Associate Women’s Performance of the Year Awards 👉 https://t.co/BMSVYGNQrh pic.twitter.com/MuSot6YvUn
— ICC (@ICC) April 6, 2022
ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year
In this segment, the top performances from Associate Members were acknowledged.
The Africa regional winner is Namibia. Namibia beat Tanzania by two wickets as they chased down the target of 90 on the penultimate ball of the match during the second semi-final of the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Gaborone.
In Asia, the best performance of the year by an Associate Member was delivered by Thailand. Thailand beat Bangladesh by 16 runs during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
In Europe, the regional winner was Scotland as they beat Ireland by five wickets during the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Europe 2021.
In the Americas, Brazil won the Award, riding on their scintillating win against Canada during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers. Brazil created history as they had never defeated Canada before.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.