European Cricket Council
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The ECC was the regional authority for Europe under the auspices of the worldwide governing authority of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC). It was based in London, England, and hosted its executive meetings at Lord's. Its last chairman was Roger Knight.
The ECC was 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 listsed its key objectives as: Participation, High Performance, Tournament Structure, Widening the Market, and promoting the Spirit of Cricket.
The ECC was responsible for organising the European Cricket Championship along with junior, indoor and women's tournaments. The tournament structure was part of the qualification for the Cricket ICC World Cup.
The ECC ran development programmes that support coaching, umpiring, training, clinics and sports medicine programmes in member countries. These programmes were 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 was financed largely by the ICC (through the biennial ICC Champions Trophy, at that time played between Full Members and Associate qualifiers) with assistance from the ECB and MCC, and a growing level of commercial sponsorship.
The ECC was brought under the auspices of the ICC Development programme as ICC Europe in 2008, and later dissolved as an independent body.
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 forerunner 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 was not 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 expanded from an initial membership of 14 to having 37 member associations (as of 2006). Nine 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. Ireland became the 11th Test nation in the world & 2nd in Europe on 22 June 2017.
- As of 19 July 2019
- "Page about ICC Europe (International Cricket Council in Europe)". Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Jain, Shraishth (27 November 2015). "How cricket gave birth to one of Europe's most iconic football clubs - AC Milan". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 3 May 2018.