Inspiring cricket initiatives celebrated this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Namibia cricket
  • 24 Members recognised across six categories in the ICC Development Awards
  • 29 regional winners now put forward as the nominees for the global awards

The International Cricket Council is celebrating the achievements of cricket’s emerging nations in 2021 this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, as the global nominees for the ICC Development Awards 2021 are announced.

Across 29 awards, 24 Members have been crowned regional winners in six categories for their part in inspiring and empowering communities through cricket and providing access for people to enjoy the sport. 

The 2021 awards shine a light on the inspiring and passionate approach to make cricket a sport for all, through the dedicated work of Associate Members and in partnership with the ICC to get more people involved with the game.

The 29 regional winners will now be put forward as the nominees for the global awards across the six categories to be announced in the coming weeks.

ICC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

The ICC Development Initiative of the Year acknowledges the outstanding development initiative delivered by an Associate Member for 2021 the regional winners are Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Namibia and Netherlands.

In Argentina where there is a short supply of cricket equipment, organisers wanted to give local children the chance to play with a wooden bat from an early age so enlisted the help of a local carpenter to produce a trial set of 30 bats used by 150 young people.

Hong Kong’s ‘Cricket for All’ programme was awarded as it created more opportunities for minority communities to get involved in sport and give them a greater sense of belonging in Hong Kong.

Indonesia claimed the honours in the EAP region after ensuring cricket was part of the country’s biggest national multi-sport event, the PON Games Papua 2021. It saw the first cricket stadiums of their size to be developed in the country to showcase the sporting spectacle. 

Namibia’s Ashburton Kwata Mini-Cricket Programme was recognised for increasing participation by a remarkable 71% despite the impact of COVID-19. The programme involved cricket being played anywhere by anyone on beaches and in car parks, to keep communities engaged during the pandemic.

In the Netherlands, the KNCB became the first Dutch sports federation to receive the ‘Partner in Versatile Movement’ certificate for the Cricket4Kids programme which enables it to compete alongside other popular sports in the Netherlands, and opens doors to significant additional participants through multisports clubs, educational organisations and events organized by the NOC*NSF.

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here

100% CRICKET FEMALE CRICKET INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

The 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year acknowledges the outstanding female cricket focused initiatives delivered by Bahrain, Germany, Sierra Leone, Vanuatu and the USA in 2021.

In Bahrain, the Federation embarked on the historic task of setting up the country’s first-ever women’s cricket team. A heart-warming response saw almost 200 registrations and the BCF Women’s League was formed in December 2021, with the national women’s team coming as a direct result of the initiative.

In Europe, Germany took the award after forming the Winterwunderliga to give females who have never played the sport before a chance to get involved in the winter indoor season in Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt with experienced national team players assigned to each as mentors.

The pandemic recovery efforts in Vanuatu were boosted by the launch of the Women’s Island Cricket Program (WICP). In October, 175 women from Port Vila and Tanna took part in the launch that was followed by a full week of competition and social impact activities empowering women and girls through cricket.

The Sierra Leone Female Leadership Criiio Cricket Programme has been recognised as 80 women and girls, predominantly schoolteachers, were trained in event management, cricket umpiring, scoring, coaching and reporting and are now coordinating entry-level programmes to try and bring thousands of school children into the sport.

A new league has been set up in the USA, who earned the Award in the Americas. The new Intra-Regional Women’s Competition for aspiring female hard-ball cricketers launched in June 2021 and featured 12 teams playing a mixture of T20 and 40-over matches within four geographic regions.

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here. 

ICC ASSOCIATE MEMBER MEN’S PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR 

The ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year Award acknowledges the outstanding men’s on-field performance of the year by an Associate Member team with Argentina, Namibia, Scotland, PNG and the UAE all being recognised.

Argentina’s impressive performance in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup regional qualifier earned them two victories and saw them compete to the last over in a tight fought match against Bermuda, producing some of the best memories of the tournament. This included a hat-trick by captain Hernan Fennell and showcased great improvement in the men’s Argentinian side on the field.

Namibia have claimed the Africa regional winner award for their victory in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 against Ireland. The Eagles chased down 126 for victory thanks to a sensational display of power-hitting from David Wiese and left-arm spin bowling from Bernard Scholtz, guaranteeing a Super 12 spot at the next World Cup.

The same tournament brought a memorable win for Scotland, defeating Bangladesh with Chris Greaves starring with bat and ball, scoring 45 from 28 balls and then taking a magnificent 3-24 from four overs to bring down the ninth-ranked team in the world and ensuring qualification to the Super 12 stage of the tournament.

The East Asia Pacific Award went to Papua New Guinea, who played their first-ever senior ICC World Cup – and the first of any Associate Member in the East Asia Pacific Region – when they opened up the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup against Oman, even though they did not come out on top there were several notable displays.

Finally, the UAE T20 win over Ireland in October in Dubai was part of their first series win against a Test nation, ensuring they secured the Asia regional award.

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here.

ICC ASSOCIATE MEMBER WOMEN’S PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Brazil, Namibia, Scotland and Thailand have all been awarded for their outstanding women’s on-field performances in the year.

In the Americas, Brazil won the Award following an incredible performance against Canada in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier. Canada needed three runs from the final over to win, only for Brazil to take five wickets in as many balls and seal victory, with two run-outs sandwiching a Laura Cardoso hat-trick to send the crowd into a frenzy.

For Namibia, the Capricorn Eagles delivered a thrilling performance against Tanzania in Gaborone in the second semi-final of the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier to secure a fourth consecutive victory which will live long in the memory despite the side going on to lose the final.

Scotland was awarded for their five-wicket win over Ireland in the Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier Europe 2021.The win, inspired by 16-year-old Katherine Fraser (3-14) and a captain’s innings of 46 not out from Kathryn Bryce, was pivotal in securing Scotland women's place at the global qualifying tournament.

The best performance of the year by an Associate Member in the women’s game in Asia was awarded to Thailand’s win over Full Member Bangladesh at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Nattaya Boochatham took five wickets to restrict Bangladesh to 176 from their 50 overs and a 90-run opening stand between Sornnarin Tippoch and Natthakan Chantham laid the foundations for a 16-run win. The historic victory was a significant step forward for Thai cricket and showcased their development in the 50-over format, as well as T20.

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here

ICC DIGITAL FAN ENGAGEMENT OF THE YEAR 

Canada, Estonia, Kuwait, PNG and Uganda all have been recognised in the ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year category which celebrates the outstanding innovative use of digital platforms, campaigns or technology to drive engagement with fans and the wider community. 

In the Americas, Canada’s impressive social media campaign and dedicated approach to fan engagement leading up to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022, saw a month on month increase of 358% in Facebook reach.

Uganda also used the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup to engage with fans through the #Cheer4BabyCricketCranes going viral. A mix of daily challenges, video profiles and messages from star names in other sports helped grow Uganda’s audience on Twitter and TikTok in the lead up to the tournament, including significant increase in the number of visits to their Twitter profile.

Kuwait led the way in Asia with the launch of the KCC Mobile Application, featuring live ball-by-ball scoring from domestic matches, live streaming of Premier League matches and statistical analysis. 

Papua New Guinea came out as winners for East-Asia Pacific region after maximising the opportunities presented by opening the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 against Oman with a dedicated marketing and social media push.

Elsewhere, the Estonian Cricket Association went viral for their donation to India’s fight against COVID-19, using their relationship with Australia legend Brett Lee to spread the word. Resulting in an increase in audiences across all platforms, with their YouTube following increasing significantly to 52,800 and Instagram to 77,568.

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here

ICC CRICKET 4 GOOD SOCIAL IMPACT INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR 

The ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year Award recognises an outstanding project where cricket is used as a platform to deliver and impact on wider social development issues during the year. For 2021, Samoa, Bhutan, Peru, Nigeria and Italy have all been selected as regional winners.

In Asia, Bhutan’s delivery of cricket programmes scaled new heights, a three-day journey from the capital Thimpu into the remote rural settings of Merak and Sakteng saw them introduce cricket to a brand new audience who, given the remote location, would not have had the opportunity to experience before. The programme was supported by UNICEF Bhutan and involved 484 students and 26 teachers, reinforcing the vision that cricket truly is a sport for all in the country.

In Europe, Cricket Italy claimed the Award as they continue their environmentally friendly initiatives. Following the success of their Treedom Project in 2020, Cricket Italy launched the #Borracceblu (water bottles) initiative which saw events organised by the Italian Cricket Federation become plastic-free, with the support of all teams.

Nigeria have been using cricket programmes as a tool for engaging and assisting in the development of internally displaced refugees as a result of violence within the country. Over 2,000 children are involved in the programme, which deploys coaches to teach cricket skills, as well as provides humanitarian aid to the significant number of people impacted by these issues. 

Cricket Peru won the award in the Americas by expanding their free development classes to the indigenous, rural communicates of Cusco, to target school-age children in communities in the Sacred Valley, with a particular emphasis on female participation, where access to physical education is limited.

In the East-Asia Pacific region, Samoa won the award for their Disability Cricket Programme; a 12-week initiative engaging 460 people with a disability from six villages and four disability schools, inspiring people and children living with a disability to become their best, bringing positive changes to their lives.  

For more information on each award and rights-free content please click here. 

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