The Emirates Cricket Board member Zayed Abbas (right) and chief executive David East (left) receives the International Cricket Council’s Development award from ICC Chief Executive David Richardson. Image Credit: ICC

Dubai. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is hoping to scale to greater heights following the board receiving a shot in their arm by winning the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) top Development Award for 2017.

Speaking to Gulf News from Dublin, after receiving the Gray-Nicolls Best Overall Cricket Development Programme award during the ICC’s annual conference, Zayed Abbas, the ECB Board member and spokesperson, said: “We had really worked hard and it is the reward for our long hard journey. The UAE teams and management deserve all credit for their hard work. We also used the budget for the promotion of the game effectively and also hired the right people for the job. We hope to go on to even better from here.”

The ECB was considered for the honour due to their UAE men’s national team’s success in retaining the One Day International status and also due to their women’s team qualifying for the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier.

The other areas of development that contributed to ECB becoming eligible for the award was the nine new academy start-ups in the past 12 months, as well as 200 new Emirati cricketers being made to experience cricket.

“We are delighted that the effort to put in an effective domestic cricket structure by introducing cricket leagues has shown its effect,” added Abbas.

The Gray-Nicolls Best Overall Cricket Development Programme award is given to a board that places emphasis on excellence in all areas including governance, management, performance, participation and promotion. The winner of this award will be a high performing national cricket body with an excellent national cricket pathway that caters for senior and junior players, both male and female who have excelled in the previous 12 months.

UAE men’s team under the captaincy of Rohan Mustafa had played in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier Super Sixes tournament and even beat Zimbabwe, a Test playing nation this year. The UAE women’s team under the captaincy of Humaira Tasneem is currently in the Netherlands to play in the Women’s WT20 Global Qualifier and commences their campaign on Tuesday.