New Zealand is getting a handout from the International Cricket Council totalling $2.14 million over the next three years to help drag themselves out of the international cricket doldrums.
At its first board meeting for 2013 in Dubai, the ICC decided to allocate $US1.8 million to New Zealand Cricket over the next three years ($US600,000 each year) from its Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme, which is aimed at developing more competitive teams among full members and associate/affiliate members.
New Zealand is currently ranked a lowly eighth on the test, one-day international and Twenty20 cricket rankings, one of its lowest ebbs in modern times.
Even when test rankings have been low in the past, New Zealand has often performed well and punched above its weight in limited overs cricket, highlighted by numerous semifinal appearances at one-day World Cups.
According to an ICC statement, the funding is for New Zealand Cricket to focus on a programme of 'A' team cricket and the development of coaching and sports science expertise.
The TAPP initiative was identified in the ICC's Strategic Plan for 2011-15 and was recognised by the board as an important tool in developing stronger and more competitive international cricket.
Also at the meeting, the board "recognised the value of domestic Twenty20 leagues", agreeing that further deliberations should be aimed at "the growth and sustainability of international cricket" by "attaining co-existence between domestic T20 leagues and the international game".
"Domestic Twenty20 leagues have provided so many opportunities for players and officials alike as well as entertaining large domestic crowds," ICC chief executive David Richardson said. "A workable and balanced international playing calendar is key to the sustainability of the game."
Should bouncers be banned from cricket?