Saudi Arabia became the 39th Associate Member of the International Cricket Council on Thursday after the ICC unanimously elected the country during its Full Council meeting in Edinburgh.
Saudi Cricket Centre (SCC) has been an Affiliate Member of the ICC since 2003 and, as per the 2014 census, boasts 4,350 cricketers and 80 dedicated cricket facilities. Recently, the SCC signed a lucrative three-year deal with MoneyGram, which is also one of the ICC’s valued partners. The SCC invested a large chunk from this sponsorship towards the staging of a domestic tournament in which 1,800 players from 106 clubs participated.
The SCC’s application for Associate Membership was pre-approved by the ICC Development Committee when the council met in October 2015 last year. ICC then carried an inspection in March 2016.
Congratulating the SCC, ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said, “I congratulate Saudi Cricket Centre on becoming an Associate Member of the ICC and hope it will continue to play its positive and active role in promoting and developing the game in its territory.”
Other decision taken by the 53-member Full Council was to ratify the suspensions of the USA Cricket Association (USACA) and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), which were suspended in June 2015 and April 2016, respectively.
However, the ICC President announced that ICC delegations comprising Board Directors and senior management will visit the two countries to meet with the relevant stakeholders and provide an update during the October meetings.
“Both Nepal and the US are important Members of the ICC as they have tremendous talent and potential. The ICC, as part of its game and market development strategy, will continue to provide the countries with as much support as possible so that they can put in place good governance and cricket structures.