Associate funding – censuses, scorecards & grants

We’ve just seen Ireland play their first (men’s) Test match, going down in a very entertaining close-fought encounter with Pakistan that ended just before tea on the fifth day. Do yourself a favour and read Jarrod Kimber’s piece on the historic occasion. In four weeks, Afghanistan take on the might of Team India in Bengaluru for their own inaugural Test fixture.

After being elevated to Full Members of the ICC last year, Afghanistan and Ireland will now be funded like the other ten Test nations – by a distribution split decided by the ICC Board.

The process for assessing what each Associate Member (AM) receives is much more involved with many more moving parts and timelines.?After my more-general?ICC’s global funding model post it is only fair that I now take the time to set out how cricket’s emerging nations are funded.

Besides the twelve Full Members of the ICC, there are 93* AMs who share a USD figure somewhere between $160-200m^. This equates to roughly 10% of total member grants over the 2015-23 rights period.

Associate Members compete for their proportion of this funding across two major pools – more or less splitting the available funds 50/50 – each with its own criteria:

  • Scorecard Grant. Every emerging nation is measured across twelve weighted criteria that cover off-field aspects of the member’s operations. All AMs are then ranked overall and then fall into eight categories of funding, which range from $510,000 for the highest four (group A), to $12,500 for the 20 member federations in group N. The weighting across the card amounts to 70% (Participation – six separate criteria), 10% (Infrastructure, Officials & Staff – five criteria), 20% (Non-ICC Income – one criteria)
  • Competition Grant. This grant (or grants if you are eligible) is matched to the highest ICC-event/s you have most recently qualified for, or competed in. In 2017 the highest achieving teams received around $700,000 under this grant system. This?excludes Afghanistan & Ireland who would have received over $2m after receiving $1.7m for being on the main ICC ODI rankings table . For countries below World Cricket League (WCL) division 5, and who had not made it to any of the global qualifiers for men’s (CWC/WT20), women’s (CWC/WT20) or U19 CWC they did not receive anything from this pot.

More on the scorecard

The numbers that are measured on the scorecard are gathered by the ICC across their annual census, and quarterly reports. The data is then sorted? throughout the next year, collated and ranked, and members are informed towards the end of the year where they place in the scorecard. Effectively, you have a two year lag in census year v funding year.

All figures are self-reported. The harsh reality here is that a single place change in one ranking metric could result in a huge (positive or negative) effect on a member’s funding – unsurprisingly there have been reports of various instances of “creative accounting”. Many of these remain private / dealt with confidentially, but here’s one mention back in 2013, with respect to ground numbers in the USA.

More on tournament grants + extraordinary funding

The World Cricket League funding, as it decreases down the divisions: (WCLC: 300K, WCL2: 150K, WCL3: 75K, WCL4: 50K, WCL5: 25K)#

Intercontinental Cup: 325K, men’s/U19 global qualifiers: 75K, women’s global qualifiers: 25K.#

In recent years, additional one-off (sometimes in instalments) grants for major tournaments or other extraordinary funding was also provided. These included:

$1mCricket World Cup 2015 (Afg, Ire, Scot, UAE)

$425k – World Twenty20 2016 (Afg, HK, Ire, Net, Oma, Sco). It was reported??here as $250,000?(as it was for 2014) and here as $300,000. However, this was during my time at CHK, and it’s only fair to say that the total received by the AM qualifiers was increased by the ICC to further assist qualifying Associate teams prepare for the 2016 event.

$500k / $250kExtraordinary funding for ODI/T20I nations?($500k: Afg, Ire / $250k: HK, Net, Oma, PNG, Sco, UAE). This was in addition to another other competition grants or global event fees to assist ODI/T20I status-holding AMs arrange more competitive (bilateral) fixtures. Every country here except PNG used some of the money to participate in the?Desert T20 in early 2017. Namibia, despite not have ODI/T20I status took the eighth spot that was originally offered to PNG.

Prior to the 2014 “big three” reforms there was also the?Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP). Afghanistan ($422k for a national cricket centre in 2013) and Ireland ($1.5m for an improved elite domestic structure in 2012) were both beneficiaries. According to the ACC, TAPP provided just over $12m across three FMs (NZ, WI, Zim) and four AMs (Afg, Ire, Net, Sco).

*This includes USA Cricket who despite having their ICC Membership cancelled in 2017 are being administered / funded by ICC and are approaching readmission.

^Funding not exactly as had been reported previously – AFG/IRE funding did not necessarily (all) come from AM pot.

#This was added slightly after original publishing as was excluded originally erroneously. I will put something together on the World Cricket League structures in the near future to put this funding information in context.

3.5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago


Joel Mitchell
Joel Mitchell
6 years ago

Is there a category for funding for example, infrastucture where private or government funding can be matched by the ICC to improce resources/increase player participation?

4 years ago


Edward Hoyle
Edward Hoyle
1 year ago

Hi Tim,
So of the 92 ICC associate members there are 4 x category A associate members getting 510k$/year, and there are 20 x category N associate members getting 12500$/year at the bottom of the scale.
Is there somewhere where we can access information on the distribution of all the other categories that lie in between please?
Is there anything we can access that updates the figure to 2023 please?
Many thanks for your excellent article,


Associate funding – censuses, scorecards & grants

by Tim Cutler time to read: 3 min