In an attempt to make cricket a global sport, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday decided to pump in $300 million.
“We can confirm that we are making the biggest-ever investment in the game from top to bottom over the next seven years. From 2009, the ICC will pump almost $300 million into our 94 Associate and Affiliate Members that make up the developing cricket world," said ICC's new chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
“That’s at least $40 million per annum, compared to $18 million in 2008, a 120 per cent increase. We believe this is the biggest investment in global development by any sport outside football,” he added.
Lorgat also said that the 10 Full Members will also benefit from substantial increases in funding from the ICC over the coming years.
Lorgat, who took over as ICC CEO Friday succeeding Malcolm Speed, said the investment was important as cricket is getting popular world over.
“This fresh cash injection highlights we are a not-for-profit organisation. All the revenue we generate from our events, broadcast and commercial agreements is ploughed back into the game. It is also an indication of how strong this great game is at present. Participation is at an all-time high in all our members at all levels," he said.
The ICC now has 104 Members, including 34 Associates and 60 Affiliates as well as the 10 Full Members. Turkey, Estonia and Bulgaria are the latest to join the ICC family having been granted Affiliate Member status at ICC Annual Conference in Dubai last week.