Switzerland, Tajikistan and Mongolia have been added as ICC's associate members, bringing the tally of global membership to 106. The decision was taken in ICC’s annual general meeting. The Mongolia Cricket Association was founded in 2007. The Cricket Board is planning to enter men’s and women’s teams into the 2022 Asian Games.
“We see this as the best way to sow the seed of cricket so that the sport becomes part of Mongolian life,” said Battluga Gombo, founder of the national federation, which is in the process of building a cricket-specific facility on land donated by Mongolia’s government.
“The first generation of school cricketers are now young adults setting themselves up in adult clubs and competing in inter-club and inter-province matches.”
Cricket in Switzerland is also growing rapidly. The country boasts of around 500 players and 50 coaches at the junior level. They also have more than 20 men’s clubs and seven at the junior girls level. The national side has also participated in European Championship Division four in 2009.
Tajikistan included cricket in their sports curriculum in 2019 and have around 4000 people playing cricket across the nation. Dushanbe, the capital city, hosts a six-team national league.
“(ICC Membership) will open the doors for us to participate in various ICC competitions and educational courses,” said Najibullohi Ruzi, president of the Tajikistan Cricket Federation. “This would be a great incentive for us to focus on further accelerating the development work on our existing facilities, and increase our capabilities in the areas of coaching and umpiring.”
Meanwhile, Tajikistan are planning to build a new ground and provide a world-class facility to the players. They have also requested the Afghanistan Cricket Board to host their international matches in their country. Currently, Afghanistan play their home games in either UAE or India
“With the help of Afghanistan Cricket Board, we plan to organise coaching and umpiring courses, and invite Afghan players to participate in our domestic competitions,” added Ruzi.