ICC to invest record $300 mln to develop game worldwide

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Dubai, Jul 8 (UNI) In a move to develop the game around the globe, the ICC will invest 300 million dollars outside the 10 full members to further strengthen cricket which would be the biggest investment in global development by any sport apart from football.

ICC's new chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat said, ''We want to see results that challenge world cricket's existing order. And we want to develop better players and better structures on and off the field, giving everyone the chance to be the best they.'' In his first week as ICC Chief Executive Officer, Haroon Lorgat has announced the most significant funding package for the development of cricket in the history of the game.

''Thanks to agreements with our commercial partners, foremost among them the one we signed in December 2006 with ESPN STAR Sports, the game is financially secure,'' Lorgat said.

''The promise that brings means we can confirm we are making the biggest-ever investment in the game from top to bottom over the next seven years. From 2009, the ICC will pump almost 300 million dollars into our 94 Associate and Affiliate Members that make up the developing cricket world.

Lorgat said the investment forms a key part of the governing ody's current strategic plan, to consolidate and to strengthen the game where it is currently played.

''We want to see results that challenge world cricket's existing order. And we want to develop better players and better structures on and off the field, giving everyone the chance to be the best they can be,'' he added.

The ICC chied further added that all full members will also benefit from substantial increases in funding from the ICC over the coming years.

''This fresh cash injection highlights we are a not-for-profit organisation. All the revenue we generate from our events, broadcast and commercial agreements is ploughed back into the game, Lorgat noted.

A month ago, Afghanistan and Jersey finished as the top two sides in the WCL Division 5 event and have progressed to the Division 4 event in Tanzania, to be held in November.

From there, for the top sides, it's on to Argentina in January for Division 3.

The top two sides from there go forward to the ICC World Cup Qualifier in the UAE next March and April and the top four sides from there will go forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup in Asia in 2011.

It is quite a prize and I am thrilled to be coming into the ICC at this very exciting time for the world game,'' Lorgat stated.

The ICC now has 104 Members, including 34 associates and 60 affiliates as well as the 10 full members.

Turkey, Estonia and Bulgaria are the latest to join the ICC family having been granted Affiliate Member status at ICC Annual Conference in Dubai last week.

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