x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Loaded UAE will initiate growth plans

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) are to be given a share of US$1.5 Billion (Dh 6bn) after the ICC outlined their global funding plan.

DUBAI // The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) can start planning how to spend their slice of the world game's US$1.5 billion (Dh 6bn) pie, after the ICC outlined their new global funding plan. The details of the new funding scheme were announced at a meeting of the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Middle East members in Bahrain this week.

Cricket's Dubai-based ruling body are set to grant a considerable funding increase to its Associate and Affiliate members between 2009 and 2016. Six per cent of the ICC's commercial rights over the next eight years will be put into the development of the game. The scheme is also incentive-based, with countries at the top of the ICC non-Test playing rankings set to receive grants in excess of US$1 million per year.

As part of the terms of the funding plan, the ECB has to submit annual operational plan and budget, to be approved by the ACC at the start of each year. Activity reports are to be sent to the ACC every quarter. These must outline both financial and operational activities in line with the annual budget and plan. The ECB administrator Mazhar Khan believes the new funding scheme will provide crucial resources to develop the game in the Emirates.

He said: "Our development program will be enhanced and cricket is now set to grow at all levels, from the grass-roots right up to the seniors." The UAE are one of the top Associate nations in Asia, and are focused on winning one of the four qualifying berths at the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier in South Africa in April. The ICC's development program manager Tim Anderson says the aim of the game is to empower cricket's developing nations by "professionalising" the way individual boards are run.

He said: "The beauty of this new process is that the members and regional bodies have been provided with a framework on how to budget, plan and report. "However, there is a lot of flexibility in how the funds can be spent in each country. "We are hoping to see results across the board, but the country is at liberty to develop their grass-roots level cricket or upgrade their facilities or maybe even focus on their administration.

"It all depends on what their priorities are. We would, however, like all countries to have a sound administrative set-up in place in order to professionalise their daily activities." pradley@thenational.ae