Dubai, Feb 20 IBNS | 8 months ago

Afghanistan has taken the top prize of 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 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.

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.

Thailand was honoured with the Best Women's Cricket Initiative for its programme that is fully indigenous and which saw the national team compete in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier Ireland 2013.

Cricket Namibia received the award for the Photo of the Year for its photo of a junior player in action.

Calvin Waldron of Bermuda received the Volunteer of the Year Award for his significant efforts in coaching and administration at various levels, as well as being a long-serving groundsman.

William Luwagga Kamanyi of Uganda was honoured with the Lifetime Service Award, in recognition of his service to cricket development and administration in Uganda over many decades, as well as neighbouring countries.

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.

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, while Cricket Ireland's sell-out ODI against England confirmed the major market potential that Ireland has for our game," he said.

All Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2013 winners receive a cricket equipment grant to their national cricket body. In addition, the recipients of the Volunteer of the Year, Lifetime Service Award and Photo of the Year will be featured on the ICC website during 2014.

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)

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