Sierra Leone’s long push to reach a higher level in international cricket has been rubber stamped on Thursday June 22nd thanks to a unanimous voting decision at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual conference at held at the Oval in London.
Confirming Sierra Leone’s new status, the ICC media statement reads: “The Membership Committee which will consider all future requests for membership – full and associate – against an objective set of criteria.
“In addition, Affiliate Membership has now been removed leaving only full and Associate Members, with all previously categorized Affiliate Members becoming Associate Members. Other changes to the constitution include the appointment of a Deputy Chairman, who shall assume the duties of Chairman, Shashank Manohar, when he is unable to fulfill his duties.”
Speaking to Concord Sports, Francis Samura, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Cricket Association said: “Being an associate member of the ICC is SLCA biggest achievement in its history. Congratulation to the people of Sierra Leone, this will come with so many challenge, playing standards, domestic structure and governance.”
The news was also welcomed by ex-players and former all-rounder, Mustapha Kallon was thankful to all the players, officials including the chairman, Bourne Coker for the relentless effort towards achieving this goal.
Kallon who now coaches one of the junior sides said: “We are pleased to achieve this, we should now try our best to maintain this and be ready for the challenge. May God bless all those who have done their best for this. We need to be very serious about this, we all should show in unity and team work.”
Chairman of the SLCA Board of Directors, Beresford Bournes-Coker, who represented the country and all other Africa Affiliate members in the conference said he was pleased to fulfill his work as that was why he was selected by his colleagues to propose to the ICC on behalf of the Africa affiliate members.
Bournes-Coker said the top 40 associate members in the world will now have voting rights in the ICC. And Sierra Leone will be ranked amongst these 40 nations adding that this is not only good for Africa Cricket but also for the Sierra Leone Cricket Association.
By: Sahr Morris Jr.