The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled a new and ambitious strategic plan with the goal of delivering successful England teams at all levels, producing a vibrant domestic game and increasing and enthusing participation during the period 2014-17.
The latest strategic plan - Champion Counties - has been designed to build on the outstanding success of the 2005 plan - Building Partnerships - and the subsequent 2009 initiative - Grounds to Play.
ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: "Those strategic plans transformed the face of the game in England and Wales. During the last eight years community club facilities have secured more than £200 million worth of enhanced facilities and our First Class Cricket grounds have developed world class spectator facilities, which boast outstanding drainage and multi-use facilities.
"In our third strategic plan ‘Champion Counties’ we are targeting operational excellence to make maximum use of scarce resources and facilities during a time of economic austerity. The plan will take advantage of the local partnerships developed in earlier plans and supports the local delivery of priorities through our extensive County network."
ECB Chairman Giles Clarke added; "In the past six years I have seen our game build partnerships, develop facilities and achieve one of the most successful performance records in England’s cricketing history. The economic challenges in recent years have demanded that all businesses reassess their priorities and achieve more with less. Cricket is no exception to this challenge.
"During the past two years ECB has conducted a widespread review of its expenditure and as a result the central costs of the game have decreased as a percentage of our total expenditure. First Class Counties have submitted business plans to support ECB’s investment of £18 million in our County game and in partnership with Sport England targets have been set to sustain participation in our club and community game.
"The main driving force of this new strategic plan is to excel in our operations and to localise delivery wherever possible. At a time when investment in leisure and entertainment is under great pressure the plan allows us to consolidate our facilities, to enhance our operations and to achieve excellence both on and off the field."
Among the targets set under the four pillars of Effective Governance, Vibrant Domestic Game, Enthusing Participation and Successful England teams, for the period until 2017 are:
• An increase in participation as measured by Sport England’s Active People Survey from 183,400 to 197,500.
• Increase attendances at LV= CC, YB50 and FLT20 by 200,000.
• Complete sponsorship and broadcasting agreements through 2019.
• Win the World Test Championship and Women’s World Cup in 2017.
• Win The Ashes and World Cup in 2015.
• Expand the number of clubs participating in NatWest CricketForce from 2,000 to 2,200.
• Complete co-operation agreements for each of the 39 County Boards with their First Class County or Minor County partner.
• Deliver two world class global events in 2017 which exceed budget and exceed customer satisfaction targets.
• Increase the number of cricket’s volunteers to 80,000 by 2017.
• Expand the number of participants in women’s and disabilities cricket by 10% by 2017.
• Award all Major Matches through 2019 by December 2014.
• To increase the number of TwelfthMan members from 220,000 to 250,000 by 2017.
• Complete an approved Community Engagement programme with all 18 First Class Counties and MCC.
• Provide First Class Counties with total fee payments of £144m between 2014 and 2017.
• For each £1 provided in facility grants through the ‘Sport England Whole Sport Plan Grant Programme’ ensure a multiplier of three with other funding partners.
• Provide a fund of £8.1m of capital investment to enhance floodlights, sightscreens, replay screens, power sub-stations and broadcasting facilities at First Class County venues.
• Provide an interest-free loan fund to community clubs of £10 million.
• Leverage the 2014 tour by India to engage with a minimum of 10,000 cricket supporters of Asian origin.
• Qualify and engage 50 Level 4 coaches to support the development of professional cricketers.
• Expand the number of coaches who have received teacher level 1, 2 or 3 qualifications to 50,000.
• Deliver an annual fixture for the Unicorns against a touring (Full, A or U19) ICC member nation.
• Provide a fund of £2 million for community clubs to combat the impact of climate change.
• Introduce a youth T20 competition engaging 500 teams by 2017.
Hugh Morris, Managing Director England cricket, recognised the challenges set for Team England but said: "This England set up is determined to deliver success and we have already shown with successful back-to-back Ashes campaigns in 2009 and 2010-11, reaching number one in the world in 2011 and winning the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 that we are capable of delivering success on a regular basis. This England team goes out with the sole intention of winning every series or global event."
Mr Collier admitted: "These are challenging targets but we will work tirelessly with all the stakeholders in the game to deliver not only a successful England team but also 39 ‘Champion Counties’ in the period until 2017."
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