Thailand, Bahrain among ICC Development Awards winners 2021

Thailand during ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier © ICC

Thailand and Bahrain are the big winners as ICC announced the Global Development Awards 2021 on Monday (June 6).  Thailand won the ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year and 100% Cricket Female Initiative of the Year went to Bahrain. Development Awards are given among ICC’s 92 Associate Members for outstanding projects and performances over the course of the year.

In the other four categories, Namibia won the Development Initiative of the Year as well as the Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year. Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year award to went to Nigeria Cricket Federation and Estonia were the winners of the Digital Fan Engagement of the Year.

Thailand were awarded the Women’s Performance of the Year for their win against full member Bangladesh during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. Thailand restricted Bangladesh to 176 with Nattaya Boochatham headlining the bowling effort. An opening partnership of 97 between Natthakan Chantham and Sornnarin Tippoch made sure that Thailand won the match by 16 runs (DLS method) when rain eventually forced an end to the match.

“We are extremely happy to receive this award for the ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the girls, coaching staff, and the Cricket Association of Thailand have put into achieving these milestones time and again. We will keep pushing the boundaries to achieve excellence and inspire a new generation of Thai cricketers and new regions with similar demographics to push the envelope and make cricket a bigger and more global game,” Shan Kader, cricket development manager, Cricket Association of Thailand, said.

Bahrain were awarded the 100% Cricket Female Initiative of the Year as they formed country’s first ever women’s cricket team. Bahrain Cricket Federation (BCF) set up Women’s Cricket League in December 2021 with almost 200 registrations. It eventually resulted in the formation of the women’s national side and they made their international debut with a T20I against Oman in March 2022.

“BCF is grateful to the ICC for conferring the prestigious 100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year Award and recognising our efforts to drive women’s cricket in Bahrain. We are thankful to the ICC Asia office for their guidance and continued support,” Gurumurthy Palani, committee member of the Bahrain Cricket Federation, said.

“This award is going to have a tremendous impact in achieving our goals of advancing women’s cricket in Bahrain, and will turbocharge our growth by attracting more females to play cricket in the country.”

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The winners were chosen by a panel comprising of selected ICC full member chief executives, former international players, ICC Hall of Famers, industry experts, media representatives and other members of the cricket fraternity.

Pholetsi Moseki (Cricket South Africa CEO), Johnny Grave (Cricket West Indies CEO), Dinesha Devnarain (former South Africa player and current women’s Under-19 coach), Belinda Clark, Beth Barrett-Wild (Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition), Sharda Ugra (Journalist) were some of the members of the panel.