Ghana cricket hit an all-time high last week when the national team won the 2nd International Cricket Council (ICC) – Africa Cricket Council (ACC) Zone III World Cup Tournament in South Africa thereby gaining qualification to play in the second tier of world cricket, the Associate Level.
Ghana by this feat gains qualification to play in the next Associate level tournament in Zambia come August this year.
But in spite of that feat achieved by the cricket team, chairman of the Ghana Cricket Association (GCA), Mr. Prince Vanderpuye-Orgle is not a happy man.
This is because after years hard work to achieve this feat, Ghana is set to automatically lose its membership due to her inability to meet certain requirements of the ICC and ACC.
According to laid down requirements of the sport’s governing body, for a country to be a full member at that level she must have a running cricket league at the juvenile and senior level between at least eight teams, have at least four international standard cricket Ovals capable of hosting an 8-team international tournament or more and also have a good administration that will see to the day to day administration of the sport.
After meeting all these laid down requirements, a country qualifies to receive a $75.000 grant every year from ICC to aid in the development of the sport in that country. Members at the affiliate level including Ghana at the moment enjoys a $1.000 and pays affiliation fee of $1,000 grant leaving the association with nothing to develop the game.
In an interview with the Times Sports Mr.Vanderpuye-Orgle stated that apart from running a juvenile league of 14 teams in the country, Ghana does not meet any of the requirements of the ICC. 'There is no office for the association. The association’s work is done by the executives in their private homes and offices and this does not augur well for the good of the game'.
According to the chairman, the association had an office before the refurbishment of the Ohene Djan stadium for the Nations Cup but since its completion they have not been allocated an office and this is making the running of the game very difficult.
Mr. Vanderpuye-Orgle recounted a recent experience in South Africa where the association was criticised for running an entirely one-man show and this allegation nearly led to Ghana’s expulsion from the cricket council, adding 'it took a difficult time for the ICC board members to accept the explanation'.
He therefore called on the head of the National Sports Council Mr. Prince Oduro-Mensah and the sports ministry to help them get an office and at least two international standard cricket Ovals while they seek for corporate sponsorship to build the other two and other infrastructure.
Meanwhile the association has taken delivery of some equipment from its Australian and South African partners and will soon distribute them to eight selected Senior High Schools in the Central and Greater Accra Regions to promote the sport.