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Ireland and Scotland get cricket funding boost

IRELAND and Scotland have been given a mandate to conduct large-scale expansion of their cricket infrastructure after being handed a new cash windfall from the ICC.

The ICC executive board announced following their meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday that the two associate members would be receiving $500,000 in additional funding per annum.

The funding comes from the governing body's targeted assistance and performance programme (TAPP), which is aimed at developing greater competition beneath the full member nations.

Ireland's new deal lasts until 2015, with chief executive Warren Deutrom saying: "We are delighted and grateful to ICC for this award which will help Cricket Ireland achieve their stated objectives.

"We shall be exploring in greater detail the award and terms of the grant with ICC management in order to ascertain how to prioritise the funding towards the proposals that we outlined in our applications."

Scotland, whose funding also lasts for the next three seasons, intend to use the money to help line up more high-profile matches against the top international sides at both home and abroad.

Their chief executive Roddy Smith said: "We are obviously delighted by today's ICC board decisions. The additional support will enable us to enhance our national team programme over the next three years and support our young developing side in continuing their recent progress.

"Since 2009 we have been in the top three associate sides in 50-over and multi-day cricket and this fact along with our ambitious application has enabled us to be one of the first two members to be awarded TAPP funding. The hard work will start now in putting these additional plans into action."

There was a further boost for the Saltires, who have been given dispensation to field non-Scotland born players who have parents from the country without the four-year qualification period.

Smith added: "As the Scottish passport does not exist, and parentage is not a recognised criterion, it has meant that many potential players who have one or both parents born in Scotland have been ineligible to play if they were born outside the country. Cricket was almost unique in Scottish sport by being unable to select such players."

PA Media