International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat insisted the sport had “never been stronger” as he announced plans to give more countries a shot at qualifying for the World Twenty20.
The qualification tournament has previously involved six or eight teams and saw Afghanistan and Ireland compete alongside the elite Test nations at this year’s World Twenty20 in the West Indies, won by England last month.
But now it will be expanded into a 16-team competition.
This will take place in early 2012 ahead of that year’s next edition of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the ICC’s development committee, meeting in Jakarta, pledged two million dollars towards the development of cricket facilities in leading junior cricket nations as well as in priority target countries such as China and the United States, long regarded by officials as strategically important.
It is understood funding will be on a ‘match’ basis, with the ICC ready to invest the same amount as a member association is willing to put into a project.
Nations hosting ICC events will also be able to apply for funding.
“These are two extremely exciting, strategic and encouraging developments for the future of our great sport,” Lorgat said in an ICC statement issued from the governing body’s Dubai headquarters. “They represent a clear sign of our ongoing commitment to growing the game beyond its traditional boundaries and ensuring that each of our members has the opportunity to develop and become the best they can be.”
“Cricket has never been stronger,” the South African insisted. “We now have three viable formats of the game at international level (Tests, One-day Internationals and Twenty20) — something no other sport can boast — and cricket continues to grow in popularity in almost every corner of the globe,” Lorgat added.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, June 11th, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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