Jersey became the 33rd country to be granted Associate Membership at the ICC Annual Conference held last week at Lord's.

The decision comes after a successful twelve months for cricket on the Island and makes Jersey the 11th European Associate Member joining the likes of Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Among Jersey's recent achievements was a good performance at the ICC European Division 2 tournament last year in which the national team came second to a strong Norwegian side and subsequently qualified for the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in May 2008. Then in March this year, the team produced a 2-0 win over Italy in an ICC bi-lateral match series.

In addition, off the field of play, the Jersey Cricket Board (JCB) was selected to host the same ICC World Cricket League Division 5 tournament in 2008, and for the first time the JCB team picked up two awards at the 2006 ICC Annual Development Program Awards.

Such achievements culminated in a successful inspection visit from the ICC in April when an ICC inspection team assessed Jersey's suitability for promotion to Associate Membership. The JCB impressed with its excellent facilities, strong development programme and high level of cricket, and this was reported back to the voting Members of the ICC at last week's annual conference.

For Jersey the promotion means that local cricket will receive a huge cash injection from ICC - which is already earmarked for investment back into the development of the sport - and the potential for the Island to qualify for major international tournaments, including the ICC Cricket World Cup.

JCB Director of Cricket Chris Minty said 'We're absolutely delighted. It's all happened very quickly and it's a credit to the way in which Jersey cricket is set up.

'I don't think it's realistic to think that we would ever push to become a Full member, or that we are likely to see the likes of England or South Africa playing in the Island, but if you think about it, Bermuda qualified and played in the World Cup and they have a smaller population than ours. Technically, it could be possible that Jersey could one day be there, too.'

JCB Chairman Keith Dennis echoed this delight saying, 'We are absolutely thrilled at the news. We have a very good structure in place on the Island and we now aim to develop those structures even further for the benefit of cricket in Jersey.'

Also resulting from last week's conference was the promotion of Cameroon, The Falkland Islands, Peru and Swaziland to Affiliate Membership, which takes the total number of ICC Members up to 101. Jersey was the only country to be granted Associate Membership.