Cricket:Jersey and Guernsey ponder joining ICC

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If they do – and a decision must be made by 31 December – the Channel Islands’ top players could be playing regular international cricket at several age levels within a short time and, ultimately, could be challenging for a place at the World Cup itself, through qualification via the ICC Trophy.Should either or both islands sign up with the ICC, the existing Channel Islands Cricket Board, which receives funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board, will probably cease to exist.Mick Fooks, chairman of the CICB, confirmed that big decisions needed to be made and soon, but there was need for care.’We have to be careful that we don’t interfere with the exciting development plans we already have in place.

The catalyst to this came when it became clear that we could no longer play in the County 38s competition,’ said Fooks.As a member of the CICB, Guernsey’s Dave Piesing has been the driving force behind the possible ICC venture.

He has delved deeply into the benefits of joining and said that no time can be wasted in making the decision.’The sky’s the limit,’ said Piesing, who advocates the switch but admits that there are possible financial dangers ahead.Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, which are also on the verge of joining the ICC, stand to increase their funding markedly if and when they become associate members of the ICC.But on entry to ICC all three islands will be classed as affiliate members, which carries no funding.

ICC have indicated that associate membership is likely at a future date, but nothing and no time scale can be guaranteed.And herein lies the danger facing Jersey and Guernsey.To join the ICC, they will have to quit the England and Wales Cricket Board and lose around £45,000 of annual funding, shared by the islands.Until such time as Guernsey and Jersey gain associate membership and a share of the ICC cash, the islands will have to bridge the monetary gap created by the loss of ECB funding.The CICB’s annual meeting is at the end of November and Piesing said that between now and then the islands had to decide what they were going to do.’We are still awaiting extra information from the ICC,’ said Piesing.’The critical thing for both islands is funding and how long we have to be affiliate members before moving to associate membership.’Jersey Cricket Association president Albert Brown said: ‘Numerous Jersey officials have been in discussions but we have not reached any conclusions yet.

I am not predicting what we will do, the clubs will decide in the end but at present we are nowhere near taking a vote.’We are very happy with the ECB and we must not jump into the ICC just for the sake of it.’In Jersey we are fortunate to have excellent grounds supported by Education, Sport and Leisure.

It is different in Guernsey as they only have one grass wicket and the use of another from mid-July onwards.

They are keen to get another ground and the extra funding from the ICC could help them achieve that.’We want to do what is best for Jersey cricket and then the Channel Islands second.

Lots of things are being discussed and any major decisions made will be made by the clubs.’Piesing does not rule out Guernsey or Jersey going their separate way on the issue.But the benefits of ICC associate membership are very exciting for both islands.Guernsey will receive upwards of £20,000 this year, which includes the salary of part-time development officer, but as an ICC associate the figure would leap upwards.’We could look to be quadrupling that and we could do a lot with that amount of money – it’s mind-boggling,’ said Piesing.Associate members, there are currently 26, receive anything from £60,000 to £100,000 per annum as their share of the World Cup profits.But, significantly, it is those associate members who welcome in or veto new ones and when they consider new applications they know their slice of the cash is reduced every time they accept a new member.

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