Saudi Arabia was unanimously elected as the International Cricket Council’s 39th Associate Member during its Full Council* meeting in Edinburgh.
Saudi Cricket Centre (SCC) has been an Affiliate Member of the ICC since 2003 and, as per the 2014 census, boasts 4,350 cricketers and 80 dedicated cricket facilities. Recently, the SCC signed a lucrative three-year deal with MoneyGram, which is also one of the ICC’s valued partners. The SCC invested a large chunk from this sponsorship towards the staging of a domestic tournament in which 1,800 players from 106 clubs participated.
The SCC’s application for Associate Membership had been pre-approved by the ICC Development Committee during its October 2015 meeting, which was followed by a full application and an ICC inspection in March 2016.
The 53-member Full Council unanimously ratified the suspensions of the USA Cricket Association (USACA) and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), which were suspended in June 2015 and April 2016, respectively.
However, Mr Manohar announced that ICC delegations comprising Board Directors and senior management will visit the two countries to meet with the relevant stakeholders and provide an update during the October meetings.
An ICC delegation will visit Nepal and will meet with the Nepal government and cricket officials, while Mr Manohar will lead an ICC team including Mr Dave Cameron, Mr Giles Clarke, Mr Imran Khawaja and Mr David Peever to the USA to meet with various stakeholders in that market and help them lay the foundation for the effective development of the sport (at grass roots and international level) and implementation of a governance structure that unifies the entire cricket community in the USA.
Mr Manohar also thanked outgoing ICC President Zaheer Abbas for his contribution.
During the Full Council meeting, the ICC Development Programme Awards were also distributed. The following were the winners:
Best Overall Cricket Development Programme – Cricket Scotland
Lifetime Service Award – Jim Bennett of Ireland
Volunteer of the Year – Ivan Thawithemwira of Uganda Cricket Association
Women’s Cricket ‘Behind the Scenes’ Award – Jersey
Spirit of Cricket Award – Vanuatu and Malaysia
Image of the Year – Rwanda
The Full Council also noted the Associate and Affiliate Members’ decision as a group to re-elect Singapore’s Imran Khawaja and Francois Erasmus of Namibia.