On Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) have welcomed the trio nations of Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as three of its new member countries at the 78th Annual General Meeting. On the other hand, Zambia and Russia have had their membership suspended due to non-compliance.
In the past few months, the ICC have been keen on introducing cricket to more countries, with the decision to extend the global tournaments to more nations. In the 78th Annual General Meeting, the international cricketing board welcomed the trio nations of Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as the three new member countries, extending ICC’s total members to 106, including 94 associates.
“We are delighted to be welcoming three new Members into the ICC family, which reflects the growth and potential of the global game. All three applications demonstrated an impressive commitment to growing the game – particularly amongst women and youth – and we look forward to assisting them in achieving their potential,” ICC’s General manager for development, William Glenwright said.
“As cricket activity begins to emerge from the pandemic, we are at an exciting stage of cricket’s growth with ambitious plans and projects to deliver in partnership with our Members to not only navigate the impact of COVID-19 but to also help achieve transformative growth for the sport globally,” he added.
Mongolian Cricket Association (MCA) was established in 2007, in an attempt to bring the sport to the limelight in the country, before becoming the official board in 2018. Mongolia also became the 22nd member country from Asia, with their priority, according to ICC being on women’s cricket in the country.
“Joining the ICC is fundamental in the establishment of a coherent structure for cricket in Mongolia. I am happy to see this noble game helping the young people here, contributing valuable experiences and giving them skills and ethics that they can take into other areas of their lives,” President of Mongolia Cricket Association, Battulga Gombo said.
On the other hand, Switzerland have established cricket as a sport in the country since 1817 and in recent years, have taken the sport to the apex level, with 33 active clubs, that organises three domestic men’s competitions. Tajikistan, on the other hand, was formed in 2011, with the country having 22 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams across four affiliated member associations.
“We are immensely proud and excited to have been accepted as an Associate Member of the ICC. This is reward for all the people involved in cricket in Switzerland that have helped develop the game from a mainly ex-pat sport just ten years ago, to the established Swiss national sport that it is today. This latest step will help us develop cricket further in Switzerland and to become a driving force in European cricket at all levels,” Cricket Switzerland President, Alexander Mackay said.
However, Zambia and Russia have had their memberships suspended due to continued non-compliance with ICC Membership Criteria 2.2(a)(i), 2.2(b)(i) and 2.2(b)(ii). The ICC press release stated that they have time till the next AGM to demonstrate compliance or risk having its membership of ICC terminated with immediate effect.