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Uganda wins ICC regional fan engagement award of the year, nominated for global award

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ICC Associate Members have continued to find ways to innovate, engage and inspire over the past year in the most difficult of circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but cricketing nations have used a combination of determination and creative thinking to overcome any obstacles in their way.

From newly formed women’s indoor leagues to virtuoso displays at ICC events, initiatives in the Associate nations continue to ensure the game of cricket is spread far and wide with a marked increase in participation.

The ICC Development Awards 2021 reflect these achievements and show how Associate Members keep empowering individuals and reaching out to communities, ICC celebrates these stories on International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (6th March). The regional winners will now be put forward as the nominees for the global awards to be decided in the coming weeks.

ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year

The ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year Award goes to the Associate Member that displayed an outstanding innovative use of digital platforms, campaigns or technology to drive engagement with fans and the wider community.

Kuwait led the way in Asia with the KCC Mobile Application. The app, which saw its promotion aided by a 20-minute webinar featuring ICC Hall of Fame member Wasim Akram, went live in October 2021 and has since acquired more than 5,000 active subscribers.

It features live ball-by-ball scoring from domestic matches, live streaming of Premier League matches and finals and statistical analysis and player insights that can help national coaches in the selection process among its many features.

In the Americas, Canada’s impressive social media campaign leading up to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 has seen the North American nation collect the award.

The dedicated approach brought great fan engagement with a month on month increase of 358% in Facebook reach.

The social media buzz created by Cricket Canada’s concerted campaign helped encourage fans to travel to the West Indies and gave a good showing to their side during a major ICC tournament making it a worthy winner of the Award.

Uganda also used the build up to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup to engage with fans to capitalise on their first appearance in the event in 15 years through the power of social media.

With #Cheer4BabyCricketCranes going viral, a mix of daily challenges, video profiles and messages from star names in other sports helped grow Uganda’s audience on Twitter and TikTok throughout November and December.

Their footprint saw a significant increase in the number of visits to their Twitter profile and the number of followers.

Papua New Guinea came out as winners for East-Asia Pacific region after maximising the opportunities presented by opening the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup against Oman with a dedicated marketing and social media push.

Elsewhere, the Estonian Cricket Association went viral for their donation to India’s fight against COVID-19, helping them scoop the award for Europe.

Using their relationship with Australia legend Brett Lee to spread the word, they were among the first Cricket Associations in the world to donate to the Indian oxygen COVID-19 relief fund.

There was an amazing increase in audience across all platforms, with their YouTube following increasing sharply to 52,800 and Instagram to 77,568.

ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year: Global nominees
ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year: Global nominees
ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year

The ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year Award recognises an outstanding project where cricket is used as a vehicle for social change.

Whether it be female empowerment, health, education, or a response to helping communities deal with the challenges of COVID-19, the project will have used cricket as a platform to deliver and impact on wider social development issues during the year.

In the East-Asia Pacific region, Samoa won the award for their Disability Cricket Programme; a 12-week initiative conducted in villages and disability schools.

The programme engaged 460 people with disabilities from six villages, four disability schools and will also train children as specialised coaches to run programs autonomously in the future.

The Disability Cricket Programme empowers and inspires people and children living with a disability, bringing positive sporting experiences to their lives.

In Asia, Bhutan’s delivery of cricket programmes scaled new heights – literally! A three-day journey from the capital Thimpu into the remote rural settings of Merak and Sakteng saw them introduce cricket to a brand new audience who, given the remote location, would not have had the opportunity to experience before.

The programme was supported by UNICEF Bhutan and involved 484 students and 26 teachers, reinforcing the vision that cricket truly is a sport for all in the country.

In the Americas, Cricket Peru won the award by expanding their free development classes to the indigenous, rural communicates of Cusco.

This new initiative was designed to target school age children in communities in the rural Sacred Valley, with a particular emphasis on female participation, where access to physical education is limited.

After a year’s work in Cusco, they generated 135 active and regularly participating development players, with 552 in the country as a whole.

In Africa, this Award was won by Nigeria, who have been using cricket programmes as a tool for engaging and assisting in the development of internally displaced refugees as a result of violence within the country.

Over 2,000 children are involved in the programme, which deploys coaches to teach cricket skills, as well as providing humanitarian aid to the significant number of people impacted by these issues. Thanks to the introduction of cricket into these areas, there is hope of establishing representative teams in structured competitions, creating a pathway through to one day playing for the national team.

In Europe, Cricket Italy claimed the Award as they continue their environmentally friendly initiatives.

Following the success of their Treedom Project in 2020, Cricket Italy launched the #Borracceblu (water bottles) initiative which saw events organised by the Italian Cricket Federation become plastic free, with the support of all teams.

The full list of regional winners and global nominees in each category are below.

ICC Development Initiative of the Year

Cricket Argentina – Local production of junior bats

Hong Kong Cricket – HKJC Community Sustainability Programme – Cricket for All

Cricket Namibia – Ashburton Kwata Mini-Cricket Programme

Cricket Netherlands – Partner in Versatile Movement

Persatuan Cricket Indonesia – National Sports Week 2021 Papua (PON Games Papua 2021)

 

100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year

Bahrain Cricket Association – Building a robust community of women cricketers

Cricket Germany – The Winterwunderliga

Sierra Leone Cricket Association – Female Leadership CRIIIO Cricket Programme

USA Cricket – A new Intra-Regional Women’s Competition for aspiring female hard-ball cricket players

Vanuatu Cricket Association – Launch of the Women’s Island Cricket Programme on the island of Tanna.

ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year

Argentina – Stand out performance in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Regional Qualifier

Namibia – Beat Ireland in the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021

Scotland – Victory against Bangladesh in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Group B

PNG – First ever senior ICC World Cup game v Oman to open the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

UAE – the UAE beat Ireland as part of its first series win versus a Test playing nation.

ICC Associate Member Women’s Performance of the Year

Brazil – victory against Canada in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers Americas

Namibia – Namibia vs Tanzania, 17 September 2021

Scotland – Victory against Ireland Women in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Europe 2021

Thailand – Achieved victory against a Full Member nation, beating Bangladesh.

ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year

Cricket Canada – Social media campaign leading up to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup

Estonian Cricket Association – ‘Always On’ Social Media Fan Engagement strategy

Kuwait Cricket – Development of the KCC Mobile App

Cricket PNG – Maximising the digital fan engagement from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Uganda Cricket Association – #Cheer4BabyCricketCranes campaign.

ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year

Bhutan Cricket Council Board – Introduction of cricket to remote areas Merak and Sakteng

Cricket Italy – Cricket for Climate Change

Cricket Peru – Formation of Ari Atinchismi in the indigenous, rural communities of Cusco

Nigeria Cricket Federation – Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Special Intervention Programme

*Source: ICC website.

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