ICC Associate Members have continued to find ways to innovate, engage and inspire over the past year, meeting the challenges brought about by the pandemic and overcoming them through a mixture of creativity and determination.
From newly-formed women’s teams to impressive displays at ICC events, initiatives in the Associate nations continue to ensure cricket is seen and played by an ever-growing number of people.
The ICC Development Awards 2021 reflect these achievements and show how Associate Members keep empowering individuals and reaching out to communities, we celebrate these stories on this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The regional winners will now be put forward as the nominees for the global awards to be decided in the coming weeks.
ICC Development Initiative of the Year
The Development Initiative of the Year acknowledges the outstanding development initiative delivered by an Associate Member, either through a physical participation programme or digitally delivered game development initiative during the year.
Cricket is the second-largest sport in the world but is still a relatively small sport in the Netherlands. Cricket4KIDS is one of the initiatives changing the game in the European country and has won the Development Initiative of the Year in Europe.
The Dutch National Olympic Committee & National Sports Federation (NOC*NSF) and the ‘Knowledge Centre for Sport and Exercise’ aims to develop the motor skills of children participating in sporting programmes.
In November, 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.
In the East-Asia Pacific region, Indonesia claimed the honours after ensuring cricket was part of the country’s biggest national multi-sport event, the PON Games Papua 2021.
It was just the second time cricket has been included in Indonesia’s showpiece sporting competition, which is held every four years, and saw two full-size cricket grounds developed with attached stadiums – the first cricket stadiums of this size in Indonesia.
Matches were played in the T20 format and over 500 people were involved in making the competition a success, from ground staff to team coaches.
The Asian winner - Hong Kong’s ‘Cricket for All’ programme - aims to create more opportunities for minority communities and give them a greater sense of belonging in Hong Kong.
Organisers approached nine different communities and seven of them joined sessions without hesitation, leading to the creation of two Sri Lankan teams, a Bohra team and Bangladeshi sides competing in various leagues.
Even during COVID-19 restrictions, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Cricket Hong Kong's Cricket for All Programme helped raise participation and increase the visibility of cricket in the country.
Namibia is the regional winner for Africa, for increasing participation by a remarkable 71 percent through the Ashburton Kwata Mini-Cricket Programme, despite the impact caused by the pandemic.
The programme was designed to be run during PE lessons when COVID-19 hit, at any free and open space. Parking lots, streets and beaches were used to keep a vital community engagement tool running when young participants needed it most.
The programme has previously produced Namibian internationals Ben Shikongo and Arrasta Diergaardt, who have represented the men’s and women’s teams respectively, and more are set to follow in their footsteps after it was extended to 12 of the country’s 14 regions in 2021.
Argentina picked up the award in the Americas for the proactive local production of junior cricket bats.
With equipment in short supply in South America, organisers wanted to give local children the chance to play with a wooden bat from a young age so enlisted the help of a local carpenter to produce a trial set of 30 bats used by 150 participants.
The success of this innovative strategy increases the accessibility to cricket for young people in Argentina, and there are plans to produce 500 bats next season with the hope that it can be replicated in other countries as a solution to providing an authentic experience for enthusiastic young cricketers.
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 in an ICC event or bilateral cricket.
UAE’s T20 win over Ireland in October in Dubai was part of their first series win against a Test nation, and ensured they secured the Asia regional award.
The T20 International bilateral series win came as a result of the UAE’s hard work and commitment to working their way up the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings against a side preparing for the challenge of competing at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
It was a memorable year for Associate cricket in Africa with Namibia leading the way and claiming Men’s Performance of the Year in the region for an iconic victory over Ireland.
The odds were stacked against them as they took to the field in Abu Dhabi on the big stage, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
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, securing a Super 12 spot in dramatic fashion.
The Men’s T20 World Cup was also the stage for the European winner of the award as Scotland have been recognized for their memorable win over Bangladesh in Oman.
Chris Greaves starred 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.
Scotland recovered from 53-6 down to post 140 and restrict their opponents to 134, sealing qualification to the Super 12 stage of the tournament for the first time.
In the Americas, Argentina’s impressive performance in the ICC Regional Qualifier earned them the prize as they won two games and pushed Bermuda to the last over, finishing in fourth spot.
Captain Hernan Fennell, who took a hat-trick, was named bowler of the tournament and Tomas Rossi took one of the competition’s standout catches.
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.
The Barras may not have come out on top but there were several notable individual displays both in the match and the tournament, with Assad Vala scoring a half-century on his World Cup debut and Charles Amini scoring 37 off 26 balls.
The full list of regional winners and global nominees in each category are below.
ICC Development Initiative of the Year
Cricket Argentina – Local production of junior bats
Hong Kong Cricket – HKJC Community Sustainability Programme - Cricket for All
Cricket Namibia – Ashburton Kwata Mini-Cricket Programme
Cricket Netherlands – Partner in Versatile Movement
Persatuan Cricket Indonesia – National Sports Week 2021 Papua (PON Games Papua 2021)
100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year
Bahrain Cricket Association – Building a robust community of women cricketers
Cricket Germany – The Winterwunderliga
Sierra Leone Cricket Association – Female Leadership CRIIIO Cricket Programme
USA Cricket – A new Intra-Regional Women’s Competition for aspiring female hard-ball cricket players
Vanuatu Cricket Association – Launch of the Women’s Island Cricket Programme on the island of Tanna
ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year
Argentina – Stand out performance in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Regional Qualifier
Namibia – Beat Ireland in the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021
Scotland – Victory against Bangladesh in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Group B
PNG – First ever senior ICC World Cup game v Oman to open the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
UAE – the UAE beat Ireland as part of its first series win versus a Test playing nation
ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year
Brazil – victory against Canada in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers Americas
Namibia – Namibia vs Tanzania, 17 September 2021
Scotland – Victory against Ireland Women in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier Europe 2021
Thailand – Achieved victory against a Full Member nation, beating Bangladesh
ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year
Cricket Canada – Social media campaign leading up to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup
Estonian Cricket Association – ‘Always On’ Social Media Fan Engagement strategy
Kuwait Cricket – Development of the KCC Mobile App
Cricket PNG – Maximising the digital fan engagement from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Uganda Cricket Association – #Cheer4BabyCricketCranes campaign
ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year
Bhutan Cricket Council Board – Introduction of cricket to remote areas Merak and Sakteng
Cricket Italy – Cricket for Climate Change
Cricket Peru – Formation of Ari Atinchismi in the indigenous, rural communities of Cusco
Nigeria Cricket Federation – Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Special Intervention Programme
Samoa International Cricket Association – Disability Cricket Programme (Cricket for All Activities)