The number of people actively participating in cricket outside the Test-playing countries increased 17 per cent in 2007, according to the results of the annual research carried out by the ICC Development Program.

The data, collated and verified from 33 Associate and 58 Affiliate Members, reveals that male and female participation numbers in 2007 were recorded at 338,051, up from 289,209 in 2006.

In comparison to the 2002 figures when there were 144,047 participants this demonstrates a 135% increase over the past five years, reflecting the success of the ICC Development Program.

The 338,051 cricketers included 73,060 participating in senior competitions and 264,991 at junior level in either competitions or involvement programs. All participants recorded are aligned to competitions or activities conducted under the auspices of their respective National Cricket Bodies.

It is not just the number of players that is increasing either. Other areas measured annually include numbers of grounds, as well as qualified coaches and umpires, all of which are steadily growing:

Grounds 5% increase in 2007, 45% increase since 2002.

Qualified Coaches 5% increase in 2007, 143% increase from 2002.

Qualified Umpires 7% increase in 2007. 141% increase from 2002.

With many Associate and Affiliate Members aiming to take the step from largely volunteer structures to more professional administrations, the number of full time and part time paid staff is also measured annually. 119 full time and 268 part time staff are now employed within these Members, representing a rise of 31% during 2007.

ICC's Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy said: 'These are impressive figures and confirm that the ICC Development Program is heading in the right direction.

'These figures are also evidence of the dedication and commitment of cricket-lovers around the world. It is a tribute to the local workers who have shown enormous devotion in many instances unpaid to the development of cricket within Associate and Affiliate Member countries.

'Together with our Members we will now look to build upon these results to ensure that the growth and improvement of cricket outside of the ICC's Test-playing nations in sustained in the long term,' said Mr Kennedy.

Scotland is one ICC Associate Member that has benefited from the ICC's Development Program. It recorded 25,476 participants in 2007 compared to 9,649 in 2002. Figures from 2007 included 4,035 playing senior cricket and 21,441 involved at junior level.

Andy Tennant, Cricket Scotland's Head of Cricket, said: 'Cricket Scotland is delighted that our significant investment in grass roots participation continues to bear fruit.

'In 2007 we had over 2,500 more boys and girls involved in our national introductory program which totalled over 16,000 participants, aged 7-9 in our schools. The number of primary schools with links to clubs also increased by 100 to 398. This also benefited our junior club membership which increased by 15% to nearly 4,500,' said Mr Tenant.

'Cricket Scotland plans to continue expanding its Community Development team in 2008 by adding at least four more young Community coaches to the staff already in place. This demonstrates our long term commitment to the growth of cricket in Scotland.

One of ICC's newer Affiliate members, Suriname, in the Americas Region, recorded total participants of 12,750 in 2007 compared to just 630 in 2006. In addition, 200 new coaches were educated at an Introductory level.

ICC Americas Regional Development Manager Martin Vieira said: 'Through an initiative between the Suriname Cricket Board and their National Education Ministry, some 200 teachers from 100 schools went through an ICC supported Introduction to Cricket training course last year. From this, 12,000 children have now been introduced to the game for the first time which is an outstanding achievement.'

In the East-Asia Pacific (EAP) Region, Indonesia registered 6,161 participants in 2007, a 34% increase from 2006 figures. Much of this increase can be attributed to a new development partnership with Tetra Pak, EcoBali and Ultrajaya Milk that saw the number of teams competing at junior level almost double last year.

Besides the 10 Full Members, ICC has 33 Associate and 58 Affiliate Members.