AMERICAS CRICKET EDUCATION
Cricket education is a vital component of the ICC Americas development programme, designed to provide developing countries with qualified human resources in key areas such as coaching, umpiring and scoring. Individuals from all ICC Americas Member countries have passed through courses offered by the regional office, in a process initiated back in 2004.
The umpire education program is designed to be the first step towards regional panels, of which now three are in place. The Elite Panel is the pinnacle of umpiring in the Americas, with six umpires at the top of their craft regionally. Thereafter there is an A Panel and a B Panel. The A Panel is the direct feeder towards recognition on the Elite Panel, while the newly initiated B Panel is the starting point, now especially for umpires from Affiliate countries, and in most cases umpires who have passed through the regional umpire education program. Of the ten umpires currently on the B Panel, already there are six individuals who qualified at a regional umpiring seminar.
In the Americas region, umpire education is run in conjunction with the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA), who offers an intensive course in order to reach Level I qualification, the minimum for consideration to a regional panel. More so, regional umpire education has meant more qualified personnel returning to countries, and beginning the process of domestic umpire education at home.
In the area of coaching, regional coach education has been aligned with West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) coaching programs and levels. First started back in 2004, instructors from the WICB have helped qualify Level I coaches from virtually all 17 Americas countries. In addition, at WICB Level I regional coaching seminars, participants have been involved in ICC Introduction to Cricket instruction, thus allowing them to instruct introductory courses in their respective home countries.
This combination of coach education has seen a dramatic rise in the number of qualified coaches in member countries in the Americas, and many countries have also developed their own coaching levels, suitable to the needs of their specific domestic development program. After years of dedicated coach education, the first two coaches, who attained their Level I through this program, recently participated in a WICB Level II course.
Scoring is another important area, and the region held its first scorer education seminar in 2007, which saw participants from nearly half of the regional countries. The first steps were taken under the auspices of the ACU&S, which has now become part of the English Cricket Board (ECB), thus there will be a review of scorer education methods in the region in order to determine the best road ahead, including the future formation of regional scorer panels.
Another big advance in cricket education is on the doorstep, with the imminent introduction of education aimed at different areas of administration, through a series of courses specifically designed by the ICC, and in addition, curator training is another area also in the pipeline.