Afghanistan’s run of success on the field continues off the field with news of its winning the top prize in the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2013, claiming the Best Overall Cricket Development Programme as well as the award for Best Junior Participation Initiative.

The ICC Development Programme Awards are in their tenth year and this year’s judging panel featured current ICC President Alan Isaac, former ICC Presidents Malcolm Gray, Ehsan Mani, David Morgan and Sharad Pawar, as well as John Stephenson as a representative of the MCC.

In a statement announcing the awards the International Cricket Council said “the Best Overall Cricket Development Programme recognised Afghanistan’s efforts in developing cricket at all levels, which is reflected in its success in increasing participation rates, promoting the game, and qualifying to the ICC World Twenty20 2014 and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.”

Afghanistan was also awarded the Best Junior Participation Initiative following its work to introduce cricket into the school curriculum in Afghanistan.

The garlanded national team in Kabul after returning from another overseas triumph, November 2013
Picture by Anthony Pearson

Thailand won the Best Women’s Cricket Initiative award for the developments which have seen a group of cricket novices in 2007 progress to becoming ACC women’s champions twice in the past two years, as well as Shield winners in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2013.

Winners of the 2014 ACC Women’s Premier
Picture by Danny Bowes

ICC Global Development Manager Tim Anderson said: “I’m really pleased to congratulate the winners of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2013, who have all demonstrated incredible dedication to growing cricket globally. “It’s particularly encouraging that Afghanistan’s inspiring rise is being underpinned by outstanding and sustainable development structures.”

ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura congratulating the Asian Region winners said that “success on the field depends a large part on success off the field and it is pleasing to see that Afghanistan and Thailand have integrated cricket development so well into their domestic and international playing activity.”

All Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2013 winners receive a cricket equipment grant to their national cricket body. The prizes are as follows:
  • Best Overall Cricket Development Programme (US$4,000)
  • Best Women’s Cricket Initiative (US$2,000)
  • Best Junior Participation Initiative (US$2,000)

Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Dr. Noor Muhammad has said “this will definitely motivate us to further improve our programs,” and with the awards’ proceeds the “ACB will prefer to purchase cricket equipment for school boys and youngsters playing cricket in remote areas. We will continue to grow this great game in our country and in the region.”

The 2013 ICC Development Programme winners:
  • Best Overall Cricket Development Programme – Afghanistan Cricket Board
  • Best Women’s Cricket Initiative – Cricket Thailand
  • Best Junior Participation Initiative – Afghanistan Cricket Board
  • Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Programme – Cricket Ireland
  • Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative – Argentine Cricket Association
  • Photo of the Year – Cricket Namibia
  • Volunteer of the Year – Calvin Waldron, Bermuda
  • Lifetime Service Award – William Luwagga Kamanyi, Uganda


Afghanistan Cricket Profile
Thailand Cricket Profile
Asia’s Development Winners

Filed February 21st, 2014