The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) consists of 11 Full Members India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, and Fiji as well as 7 Associate Members Brunei, Japan, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Qatar and Thailand.
[Note : For the purpose of ICC Development Programme countries such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Brunei and Japan are yet to decide whether they would be a part of the Asian region or that of the East Asia Pacific]
Despite the ambitious development plans of the ICC, it has not always been possible for the world body to maintain an effective coordination with the regional bodies. This problem has been most prominent in case of Asia. It was sometimes noted with concern that the allocation of funds for the development of cricket in Asia had been rather unrealistic. As a result, balanced development in the Continent was facing a number of impediments.
This was most unfortunate, especially in view of the fact that no other Continent could match the tremendous market potential of Asia. As per an unofficial estimate, nearly 70% of the earnings form television rights for world cricket came from Asia.
The Asian countries in the ICC therefore, appealed to the ICC that the bulk of development work in the Asian region should be left with the regional body the ACC. The ICC realised the problem and decided that 50% of the earnings from the ICC Knockout events, minus the administrative costs, would be made available to the Asian countries playing the events.
On its part, the ACC was prompt to decide that the money thus available would be utilized for the funding of the development programmes that would be taken up by the ACC. It is significant to mention that the said money would not be used for any development work in the Test playing nations. The money will be used for development of the game in the truest sense in all non-Test playing countries in Asia.
It was also recognized that effective and efficient fund raising and management thereof for cricket in Asia could be achieved by setting up a separate arm of the ACC in the form of the Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF). In addition, the ACC Development Committee was also formed to provide the necessary inputs and recommendations how the elaborate plan could be translated to action.
It was felt by the ACC that side by side with quantitative and qualitative proliferation, cricket must be able to uphold those values that enriched the game for centuries, even in the changing milieu.
In a nutshell, the rationale of a Development Plan for the ACC could be viewed as follows :
Prosperity of the sport
Creation of awareness and interest in all corners of Asia
Enhance the prestige of the sport
Cooperation with other regional bodies to take the sport beyond the boundaries of Asia
Promotion of positive social values
The draft Development Plan was discussed in the Special General Meeting of the Asian Cricket Council held on 22 and 23 November 2000 at Dubai. The Special General Body observed that the action points should be drawn up by the ACC Development Committee in consultation with the Chairman of the Asian Cricket Foundation, so that these could be implemented in a phased manner without any delay.
THE VISION STATEMENT
Any sport or its organization requires an ethos and a culture on which all participants can base their behaviour and beliefs. Cricket has a rich heritage and it is vital that the Development Plan of the ACC contains inputs that would ensure that the heritage is enriched and carried forward for future generations. The ACC’s vision for development would be based on the following :
On behalf of its members, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) would continue to provide the leadership in development and promotion of the game throughout the Continent.
The ACC would wholeheartedly support the ICC objective of “globalisation” and strive to promote cricket beyond its boundaries through regional cooperation.
The ACC would recognise the sovereign rights of the Members and encourage an approach of partnership amongst the members to satisfy mutual interests.
The ACC would ensure prudent financial management whilst maximising commercial revenues.
The ACC would strive to open new markets for cricket.
The ACC would uphold and promote the concept of cricket as a positive contributor to social cohesion and stability, international awareness and friendship.
The ACC would develop and promote cricket as a vehicle of human welfare.
The ACC, through its Members, would take all possible steps to eliminate the negative forces that tarnish the image of the game and create an impediment to its development.
THE MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the ACC Development Plan could be viewed as follows :
To create and sustain an environment in which each Member can flourish by meeting the needs of those who play, manage or support the game from national to regional to local levels in that country.
To make cricket accessible to all people in Asia and beyond regardless of age, race, religion, income, occupation, educational standard or skill level.
To expand the number of countries in Asia capable of playing international cricket at the highest standard.
To balance the requirements of public entertainment and individual participation, without sacrificing the basic values and ethos of cricket.
To raise funds by organising cricket events, tournaments, championships etc. under the auspices of the ACC, so that such funds could be ploughed back for the development of the game in Asia.
To consider the relevance of different forms of cricket to the needs of the countries.
To establish mutually agreed targets for expansion in conjunction with the ICC.
To review that database in conjunction with each country.
THE ACC DEVELOPMENT PLAN : STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
There will be an overall Development Plan for five years for the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that would establish a methodology for selection and progression of countries with the potential to proceed to the next level within the ACC structure.
The first Development Plan for the ACC for 2001-2005, the second being from 2006-2010, the third being from 2010-2015 and so on.
The Development Plan for every five years would consist of the basic parameters along which the ACC would proceed. The five-yearly Plan would need to be approved by the General Body of the ACC and there should be complete support of the Members to implement the basic programmes charted out in the Plan.
Cricket however, like any other sports discipline of modern times, has to adapt with changes in science and technology. In view of this, any Plan document pertaining to cricket that remains rigid, cannot be truly reflective of progress. A certain degree of flexibility is required to make necessary adjustments in the plan schedule and to take necessary actions accordingly.
Side by side with the five-yearly Development Plan of the ACC, there should therefore, be a Rolling Plan every year. The yearly Rolling Plan would effectively monitor the progress of the five-yearly Plan and ensure judicious implementation.