International Cricket Council (ICC), the global cricket governing body, has unveiled its global growth strategy which places women’s cricket firmly at the heart of its long-term ambitions.
The strategy which has been developed in partnership with ICC Members is aimed at strengthening, growing, and protecting the game with the vision of more players, more fans and more nations enjoying cricket. The strategic pillars of strengthen, grow, and protect will be underpinned by digital transformation of the sport to support Members to connect directly with fans and build capacity.
To strengthen the sport and drive greater engagement from what already exists, the ICC will deliver competitive cricket with context for all Members, invest in and grow women’s cricket, build cricket among Associate Members and deepen fans’ connection through digital transformation, including the ongoing development of ICC.tv, the direct to fan platform and with the development of a mobile game.
On the other hand to grow the sport through more people and more places, the ICC will focus on getting more people playing and engaging with cricket through its criiio entry level programme and enhanced education programmes for coaches, officials, and curators. Female participation will be prioritised as will key identified new markets to drive targeted growth, the first of which will be the USA. Olympic inclusion is also considered a central plank of growing cricket globally.
Meanwhile in order to protect the integrity of the sport and inspiring trust among fans is the third pillar of the strategic framework. Providing an environment that is safe for all participants and brings to life the spirit of cricket will be a key area of focus along with the continued commitment to leading the way in delivering a corruption free sport.
Additionally, the ICC Cricket 4 Good programme will be developed to harness the power of more than one billion fans to build a better future.
In addition to the framework, six strategic priority projects have been highlighted in the strategy as the sport looks to build and consolidate on recent success.
Commenting on it, ICC Chair Greg Barclay said: “This strategy is for the whole sport, and it will enable us to strengthen what we currently have, particularly around the women’s game and ensuring we’re delivering competitive cricket with context for all our Members. It also provides us with the opportunity to look at growing the game and getting more people playing and engaging with cricket through new markets and Olympic inclusion.”
“Finally, it identifies the importance of protecting the integrity of our game and inspiring trust among fans and using the power of cricket to build a better future. This framework is something on which the whole sport is aligned and I’m looking forward to working in partnership with our Members to create a successful and sustainable future for cricket,” he added.
Meanwhile, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said: “Our strategy is focused on more players, more fans and more nations enjoying cricket and we believe by working closely with Members we can build on the strength of what we already have but also grow the game in new markets.”
“I am particularly excited by the commitment of everyone in the sport to investing in and growing the women’s game. Over the last four years we have invested in ICC women’s events and witnessed 86,174 people in the MCG to watch the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 which is the best illustration yet of our research that tells us that two thirds of cricket’s 1 billion plus fans want to see more women’s cricket. Digital transformation will play a crucial role in delivering the success of our strategy as we look to attract and engage more fans and build digital platforms that enable our Members to create direct relationships with 300 million fans by 2032,” he added.