The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced an increased in the funding it will give to ICC Europe, its Associate and Affiliate members.
The funding will rise to a record £480,000 in 2014 and the ECB, Europe's only ICC Full Member, will also invest in coaching programmes to further develop cricket in Europe.
5,000 active coaches are now qualified in Europe outside of England and Wales and they will be supported by the ECB Regional Training Team and the Howzat coaching resource, which has been translated to boost the expansion of the game.
The ECB is providing the resource to qualify 22 European coaches on the Level 3 programme and 15 coaches on the Level 4 programme, adding £120,000 of value to the investment in European cricket.
Announcing the increased funding, ECB Chief Executive David Collier says he is excited with the progress being made in Europe.
"ECB has been excited to see the excellent progress made in the expansion of cricket throughout Europe and by European teams in global events.
"The participation of both Scotland and Ireland in the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup reflects well on the leadership of cricket in Europe and the number of active coaches in Europe will further expand the game's participation in future years.
"We congratulate the European Associate Director on the ICC Board Keith Oliver for his leadership in driving many of these new projects and ECB has now committed to running the level 3 and 4 programmes on a bi-annual basis with the next intake being in 2015 to raise the number of Level 3 and 4 coaches prior to the ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in England and Wales in 2019.
"Mr Oliver has been a positive influence on the ICC Board and his quiet but persuasive advocacy setting out issues, previously not drawn to larger Full members’ attention, has resulted in some beneficial outcomes for Associate and Affiliate members everywhere and I am sure that ECB will continue to work closely with Mr Oliver for the good of European Cricket."
© Cricket World 2014