ICC aims for cricket globalisation with a balance, says Mani

Published: Monday, May 10, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The International Cricket Council (ICC) wants to globalise cricket and improve the quality of the game among the playing nations, its president Ehsan Mani said.

"The game of cricket has progressed manifold and we aim to further globalise the game with quality. The main thing is that all the playing nations keep the competitive edge," Mani said in his welcoming speech at a two-day seminar arranged by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Sunday.

Mani, a Pakistani based in England, said that by 2005 the ACC hoped to increased its number of members to 100 from its current 89.

"ICC would love more countries to join the Test cricket fraternity but they must be ready," said Mani, who took over the two-year presidency in June 2003.

Kenya is next in line to become eleventh Test playing country but Mani said their Test status would only be reviewed in 2005.

Only four countries -- Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh -- have been accorded Test status in the past 52 years but Mani disagreed that this small number suggested the game was not progressing.

"If the top cricketer nations are stronger then the associate members will get stronger and we have learned from the mistake of Bangladesh, where we are working openly for improvement."

Bangladesh, accorded Test status in 2000, have not won a Test in 28 attempts and only won their first One-day game against Zimbabwe in March.

The shape of the ICC has also changed with more money coming in, he said.

"Between 2000 and 2007 the ICC has allocated over 100 million dollars for the development and of this half will be spent in Asia which shows the significance of the region."

Currently the International Cricket Council has 89 member countries in three categories with 10 full, 27 associate and 52 affiliate members.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said better teams need good patronage.

"We should aim to deliver as high a standard of governance as we expect our players to achieve when they are playing cricket," said Speed.

"The test of a cricket board is to what extent you control your sport."

ICC development manager Matthew Kennedy said the development programme launched by ICC in 1997 has created passions in countries where cricket was never played before.

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