The Cook Islands took out the category of ‘Best Junior Participation Initiative’ for the local associations innovative modified cricket games introduced in 2012.
Games included court cricket (similar to indoor cricket) that could be played during lunch breaks as well as ‘one hand one bounce’ competitions at high schools.
A ‘national cricket day’ also took place where nine islands all played junior cricket at the same time on the same day. This has seen a 20 per cent increase in under 19 men and women players on Rarotonga, as well as new teams on the island of Aitutaki.
The Cooks also took out the ‘Best Women’s Cricket Initiative’ award for their fantastic improvement in women’s cricket.
2012 saw the national women’s team compete in the ICC EAP Women’s Championships for the first time.
Then using their partnership with Northern District (ND) the local association was able to send three national players to attend ND cricket’s women’s first class week-long camp.
Other award winners were Papua New Guinea who took out the best overall cricket development programme award while Japan took out the best cricket promotion and marketing programme as well as volunteer of the year.
The Philippines won the photo of the year award while Vanuatu took out the best spirit of cricket initiative award.
The EAP award winners will now join winners from the four other Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Programme Regions at the ICC Global Awards.
The ICC Development Program Awards were established to recognise exceptional performance and service to the game of cricket in all associate and affiliate member countries, and aims to recognize these contributions among all levels of cricket development.