Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland become new ICC members; Zambia expelled, Russia suspended

The International Cricket Council (ICC). © ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has inducted Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as the three new member countries at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday (July 18) taking the total number of member countries to 106 – 12 full members and 94 associate countries.

“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,” William Glenwright, ICC development general manager, 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.”

ICC has removed Zambia as the member country for continued non-compliance of membership criteria 2.2(a)(i), 2.2(b)(i) and 2.2(b)(ii). Earlier in the 2019 AGM, ICC had suspended Zambia for non-compliance of the same criteria. ICC also suspended Russia for non-compliance of the same and has given the ultimatum until the next AGM to avoid revoking of their membership.

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Mongolia and Tajikistan are 22nd and 23rd members from the Asia region and Switzerland became 35th member of the Europe region.

The Mongolia Cricket Association (MCA), established in 2007, is the official administrator of cricket in the country and they run junior cricket programs with 39% female participation in school cricket. They are all set to host International Youth Green Games in September this year where cricket is one of the participating sports.

“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,” Battulga Gombo, president of MCA, said.

“The MCA’s focus will continue to be the Schools’ Outreach Programme both in Ulaanbaatar and in the provinces, on inter-school competition and inter-province competition in the National Youth Games. We see this as the best way to sow the seed of cricket so that the sport becomes part of Mongolian life.”

Cricket Switzerland (CS) was formed as an association in 2014 after the expulsion of Swizz Cricket Association in 2012. Switzerland compete regularly in Central European tournaments and CS runs a junior program along with three domestic men’s competitions in set up that comprises 33 clubs.

“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,” Alexander Mackay, CS president, said.

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Tajikistan Cricket Federation, officially formed in 2011, has built a domestic cricket structure with a focus on women and junior cricket. The federation has 22 men’s sides and 15 women’s teams in the system.

“The Tajikistan Cricket Federation is delighted to be accepted as an Associate Member of the ICC, having fulfilled all the membership requirements and we are very confident that we can successfully grow cricket in Tajikistan,” said president Najibullohi Ruzi. “This is a great incentive for us to focus on further accelerating the development work on our existing facilities, increase our capabilities in the areas of coaching and umpiring. The other areas on our priority list are high-performance programs for juniors and seniors’ both men and women.”