The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday awarded membership status to three new countries — Cambodia and Uzbekistan from Asia, and Cote D’Ivoire from Africa — during its annual conference in Birmingham.
After the inclusion of these three, the number of ICC’s total members went to 108 countries, including 96 Associates. The two Asian teams take the total count of Asian countries to 25 while Cote D’Ivoire is the 21st country from Africa.
According to the global cricket body, a major criteria to gain ICC Membership is detailed in ‘Participation and domestic structures’ of Clause 2.1 (d) of the ICC Membership Criteria, which includes having in place a proper structure with minimum team requirements for 50-over and 20-over tournaments, aside from clear junior and women’s pathways.
“The three new countries satisfied these conditions, with the Cricket Federation of Uzbekistan’s (CFU) women’s cricket plan involving 15 teams playing organised competitions with a pathway programme for their Under-19 and Under-17 players,” the ICC said.
Cote D’Ivoire Cricket Federation has a strong grassroots programme and also runs a national league senior men’s competition with eight teams. Notably, they have also taken several initiatives to grow women’s cricket, including the appointment of a female Board member to drive this agenda.
Cricket Association of Cambodia (CAC), who were severely impacted by Covid-19, was awarded membership subject to the board demonstrating it has a satisfactory women’s pathway in place by the end of the year.
A T20 tournament with eight teams is also in the works for November 2022, while indoor cricket activities are expected to be re-established across eight schools. Cambodia also has 14 registered teams regularly playing men’s senior domestic cricket in the country and has a promising junior cricket programme with local coaches.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s application for ICC Membership is deferred until cricket activity is able to safely resume within the country, but the governing body will continue to support the Ukraine Cricket Federation through this process.
On the other hand, Cricket Russia’s suspension at the 2021 AGM has turned into termination after it failed to resolve the issues and demonstrate compliance following suspension.