Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland became the latest Member countries to be associated with the International Cricket Council. Zambia’s membership has been cancelled due to continued non-compliance with ICC Membership Criteria, while Russia’s has been suspended for the same reason. The ICC made these announcements via a media release on Sunday.
The ICC now has 106 Members in total, including 94 Associate nations.
Cricket in Mongolia
The Mongolian Cricket Association (MCA) which was established in 2007 became the official national administrator of the sport in 2018, the ICC said. Interestingly, females account for 39% of all participants playing school cricket. Mongolia will host the International Youth Green Games in September 2021 where cricket has been chosen as one of the participating sports.
“Joining the ICC is fundamental in the establishment of a coherent structure for cricket in Mongolia. I am happy to see this noble game helping the young people here, contributing valuable experiences and giving them skills and ethics that they can take into other areas of their lives. The MCA’s focus will continue to be the Schools’ Outreach Programme both in Ulaanbaatar and in the provinces, on inter-school competition and inter-province competition in the National Youth Games. We see this as the best way to sow the seed of cricket so that the sport becomes part of Mongolian life," President of Mongolia Cricket Association, Battulga Gombo, said.
Cricket in Switzerland
“Cricket was first played in Switzerland in 1817 and Cricket Switzerland (CS) was inaugurated as an association in 2014," the ICC said.
“We are immensely proud and excited to have been accepted as an Associate Member of the ICC. This is reward for all the people involved in cricket in Switzerland that have helped develop the game from a mainly ex-pat sport just ten years ago, to the established Swiss national sport that it is today. This latest step will help us develop cricket further in Switzerland and to become a driving force in European cricket at all levels," Cricket Switzerland President, Alexander Mackay, said.
Cricket in Tajikistan
According to the ICC, the Tajikistan Cricket Federation was officially formed in 2011. They have 22 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams across four affiliated member associations.
“The Tajikistan Cricket Federation is delighted to be accepted as an Associate Member of the ICC, having fulfilled all the membership requirements and we are very confident that we can successfully grow cricket in Tajikistan. This is a great incentive for us to focus on further accelerating the development work on our existing facilities, increase our capabilities in the areas of coaching and umpiring. The other areas on our priority list are high-performance programs for juniors and seniors’ both men and women," President of Tajikistan Cricket Federation Mr. Najibullohi Ruzi, said.
ICC General Manager for Development, William Glenwright welcomed the new entrants:
“We are delighted to be welcoming three new Members into the ICC family, which reflects the growth and potential of the global game. All three applications demonstrated an impressive commitment to growing the game – particularly amongst women and youth – and we look forward to assisting them in achieving their potential. As cricket activity begins to emerge from the pandemic, we are at an exciting stage of cricket’s growth with ambitious plans and projects to deliver in partnership with our Members to not only navigate the impact of COVID-19 but to also help achieve transformative growth for the sport globally."