Dubai, Feb 20 IANS | 5 months ago

Afghanistan has taken the top prize of the International Cricket Council Development Programme Annual Awards 2013, claiming the best development programme as well as the award for best junior participation initiative.


The awards 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 World Cup 2015.

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

Ireland was awarded the Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Campaign for its work to promote the Ireland-England ODI at Malahide in September 2013, which saw 10,000 fans attend as part of a sellout crowd.

Other winners this year include Argentina, which was awarded the Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative for a programme that connected underprivileged communities with a local private school to provide the communities with facilities and coaching.

This year's judging panel featured current ICC President Alan Isaac, previous ICC Presidents Malcolm Gray, Ehsan Mani, David Morgan and Sharad Pawar, as well as John Stephenson as a representative of the MCC.

The prizes are as follows:
Best Overall Cricket Development Programme ($4,000)
Best Women's Cricket Initiative ($2,000)
Best Junior Participation Initiative ($2,000)
Best Cricket Promotional and Marketing Programme ($2,000)
Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative ($2,000)
Photo of the Year ($1,000 and feature on the ICC website during 2014 and any other appropriate ICC Development Programme Resources)
Volunteer of the Year ($1,000 and biography feature on the ICC website during 2014)
Lifetime Service Award ($1,000 and biography feature on the ICC website during 2014)

The 2013 winners are:
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

(Posted on 20-02-2014)