Europe scores high as Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands win global awards

Fri, Mar 14, 2008 1:21 PM

Europe came out on top at the 2007 ICC Development Program Annual Awards as Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands beat off tough opposition from around the globe to pick up top prizes.

Deutscher Cricket Bund (DCB) was awarded the Best Women's Cricket Initiative prize for its U/17 Women's Tournament in Oldenburg, Germany.

Jos Heggelman of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (KNCB) won the Volunteer of the Year Award for his outstanding contribution to the game in The Netherlands.

And John Wright of Ireland won a Lifetime Service Award for his long and dedicated service to cricket development.

Richard Holdsworth, ICC European Development Manager praised the winners saying "Europe has two outstanding individual volunteers in Jos Heggelman and John Wright, both of whom have contributed an enormous amount to cricket in the Netherlands and Ireland respectively.

"Both are fully deserving of their global awards, and a great example to many others involved in the development of cricket. We look forward to presenting them with their awards at the 1st npower Test match of the summer at Lord's."

He added "Germany has been developing the women's game for several years now, and through their Women's Development Officer Wraye Wenigmann, organised an excellent U/17 Women's Tournament in Oldenburg which rightly won the Best Women's Cricket Initiative. The growth of the women's game is one of our key objectives, and the model which Germany has established is an excellent example."

The Oldenburg U/17 Women's Tournament, the first of its kind in Germany, and in all of mainland Europe, was also pulled together by Carsten Höfinghoff President of Oldenburg CC who worked together with Wenigmann and also Ian Moss of Gloucestershire County Cricket Board. So successful was the tournament that it was held again in February of this year in Berlin and looks set to become an annual event in the DCB calendar.

Volunteer of the year Jos Heggelman was a KNCB tour manager on no fewer than five tours in 2007 ranging from the Dutch U/12 team to the Dutch A-side. Heggelman, a very active member of the Dutch Youth Committee, is instrumental in the hands-on organisation of many tournaments and events and is responsible for all KNCB team kits.

At the same time Heggelman is also very active in his local club Excelsior in Schiedam acting as the Treasurer and "Jack of all trades". From the KNCB point of view he is irreplaceable and taking into account that he turned 59 this year, it is clear that the KNCB has a very special person within its ranks.

John Wright of Ireland was awarded a Lifetime Service Award for his commitment to cricket development, not only in his home country, but also internationally, given that he has served on several ICC committees.

During his time within the Irish Cricket Union (ICU), Wright was instrumental in every way with Irish Cricket, whether organising the national teams and tournaments, bringing efficiency and purpose to the administration, helping the sport gain recognition in government circles in Ireland, or applying his wisdom at both European and ICC levels, there is very little within Irish Cricket to which Wright would not lend a helping hand.

At ICC levels Wright has been a leading contributor; he has served on the ICC Chief Executives Committee and represented Europe on the ICC Development Committee. Within the European region he has stood on the European Board and the European Cricket Committee since 1997.

Wright, who was Honorary Secretary of the Irish Cricket Union for 10 years until stepping down this year, said: "I am extremely delighted to receive this award. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in cricket and I must admit that it is very pleasing to be acknowledged and honoured for your services.

"It has been a privilege to be part of the ICC Development Program and I wish it best of luck in the future."

Elsewhere Associate Member Bermuda picked up two prizes making it the big winner of this year's competition. Bermuda was awarded the Best Overall Cricket Development Program and the Photo of the year titled "It's a Catch".

Hong Kong Cricket Association won the Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Award for the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes and Cricket Indonesia's Tetrapak U/19 Development Program was declared the Best Junior Cricket Initiative program.

The best Spirit of Cricket Initiative in Partnership with UNAIDS was won by the Mozambique Cricket Federation's National Commission for School Cricket, and Laurie Pieters of Namibia joined Ireland's John Wright, also picking up a Lifetime Service Award.

ICC President Ray Mali, who served as one of the four global judges alongside Ehsan Mani (Past ICC President), Malcolm Gray (Past ICC President) and Keith Bradshaw (MCC Chief Executive and Secretary), said: "This whole process has shown once again the outstanding work being done in the development of cricket around the world.

"It was immensely difficult to select the winners but those lucky enough to be chosen reflect the contributions they have made to our wonderful worldwide sport.

"Everyone involved, winners and those not chosen, deserve immense credit for their efforts."

The ICC Development Program Annual Awards, which began in 2002, promotes excellence in cricket development and recognises exceptional performance and service to the game in the ICC's 91Associate and Affiliate Members.

Nominees in 2007 came from a range of levels - country, club, association, team, school and individual - highlighting the positive impact cricket is making on the lives of people from culturally diverse communities.

The Global winners:

Best Overall Cricket Development Program – Bermuda Cricket Board

Best Women's Cricket Initiative – Oldenburg U/17 Women's Tournament (Germany)

Best Junior Cricket Initiative – Tetrapak U/19 Development program (Indonesia)

Best Cricket Promotional and Marketing Award – Hong Kong Cricket Sixes (Hong Kong)

Best Spirit of Cricket Award in Partnership with UNAIDS – National Commission for School Cricket (Mozambique)

Photo of the Year Award – "It's a Catch" (Bermuda)

Volunteer of the Year – Jos Heggelman (The Netherlands)

Lifetime Service Award – John Wright (Ireland) and Laurie Pieters (Namibia)

Prizes – each Global award category is allocated US$2000 of equipment to be received by the winning national cricket body.

Further details can be found on the website at

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