European Cricket Council
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2011)|
|Headquarters||Lords Cricket Ground, London, United Kingdom|
|Membership||33 member countries|
|ICC European Development Officer||Richard Holdsworth|
The ECC is the regional authority for Europe under the auspices of the worldwide governing authority of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is based in London, England, and hosts their executive meetings at Lord's Cricket Ground. Its current Chairman is Roger Knight.
The ECC is responsible for the promotion and development of the game of cricket across the European continent and Israel (for cricketing purposes, as with nearly all sports, Israel is considered to be a European country). Europe is a region where the game has not traditionally flourished. Cricket also faces tough competition from much more popular sports, such as football and basketball. It lists its key objectives as: Participation, High Performance, Tournament Structure, Widening the Market, and promoting the Spirit of Cricket.
The ECC is responsible for organising the European Cricket Championship along with junior, indoor and women's tournaments. The tournament structure is part of the qualification for the Cricket ICC World Cup.
The ECC runs development programmes that support coaching, umpiring, training, clinics and sports medicine programmes in member countries. These programmes are the responsibility of the European Development Manager and a small team of staff, within the framework of the ICC Development Programmes’s Key Objectives. Responsibility for hosting and supporting the ICC’s five regional programmes falls to the Full Member in each region, in this case the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who have, in turn, involved Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on the basis of MCC’s existing strong links with Europe.
The programme is financed largely by the ICC (through the biennial ICC Champions Trophy, played between Full Members and Associate qualifiers) with assistance from the ECB and MCC, and a growing level of commercial sponsorship.
Cricket is recorded as having first been played in Europe by Admiral Nelson's troops and sailors whilst they were stationed in Naples in 1793. The game quickly grew in popularity, and was regularly played at amateur level throughout the 19th century. Many professional clubs formed at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the most famous of which, the Milan Cricket and Football Club, was the fore-runner of A.C. Milan. However, the rise of Fascism across Europe in the 1920s and 1930s saw a decline in the game's popularity. Although it continued to be played at amateur level, it wasn't until the 1990s that it began to revive on a larger scale.
The ECC was founded in 1997, replacing the administration heavy European Cricket Federation, and has expanded from an initial membership of 14, to now having has 37 member associations (as of 2006). 9 of the member nations have ICC associate status, a further 17 have affiliate status, and 11 are ICC prospective members. The game continues to grow in popularity, and three ECC members, Scotland, Ireland, and The Netherlands, along with test status England, competed in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup.
ODI-status associate members
Other associate members
- Switzerland (membership suspended in 2011, removed entirely in 2012)