New Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat hails move as 'biggest investment in global development by any sport outside football'.

'We want to see results that challenge world cricket's existing order. And we want to develop better players and better structures on and off the field, giving everyone the chance to be the best they can be.'

In his first week as ICC Chief Executive Officer, Haroon Lorgat has announced the most significant funding package for the development of cricket in the history of the game.

Mr Lorgat said the ICC would be pumping almost US$300million into the development of cricket outside the 10 Full Members in a massive investment to further strengthen the game around the globe.

'Thanks to agreements with our commercial partners, foremost among them the one we signed in December 2006 with ESPN STAR Sports, the game is financially secure,' said Mr Lorgat.

'The promise that brings means we can confirm we are making the biggest-ever investment in the game from top to bottom over the next seven years. From 2009, the ICC will pump almost US$300 million into our 94 Associate and Affiliate Members that make up the developing cricket world.

'That's at least US$40 million per annum, compared to US$18 million in 2008, a 120 per cent increase. We believe this is the biggest investment in global development by any sport outside football,' he added.

'It forms a key part of our current strategic plan, to consolidate and to strengthen the game where it is currently played. We want to see results that challenge world cricket's existing order. And we want to develop better players and better structures on and off the field, giving everyone the chance to be the best they can be.

'All Full Members will also benefit from substantial increases in funding from the ICC over the coming years and this is in keeping with one of my aspirations for the game while I am the ICC's Chief Executive Officer strengthening the game horizontally across the world, throughout our Full, Associate and Affiliate Members.

'This fresh cash injection highlights we are a not-for-profit organisation. All the revenue we generate from our events, broadcast and commercial agreements is ploughed back into the game.

'It is also an indication of how strong this great game is at present. Participation is at an all-time high in all our members at all levels. Thanks to the ICC World Cricket League, all Associate and Affiliate Members now have a clear pathway through to one of the crown jewels of the game, the ICC Cricket World Cup.

'A month ago, Afghanistan and Jersey finished as the top two sides in the WCL Division 5 event and have progressed to the Division 4 event in Tanzania, to be held in November. From there, for the top sides, it's on to Argentina in January for Division 3. The top two sides from there go forward to the ICC World Cup Qualifier in the UAE next March and April and the top four sides from there will go forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup in Asia in 2011.

'It is quite a prize and I am thrilled to be coming into the ICC at this very exciting time for the world game,' said Mr Lorgat.

Mr Lorgat took over as ICC CEO on Friday 4 July. He succeeds Malcolm Speed in the top job.

The ICC now has 104 Members, including 34 Associates and 60 Affiliates as well as the 10 Full Members. Turkey, Estonia and Bulgaria are the latest to join the ICC family having been granted Affiliate Member status at ICC Annual Conference in Dubai last week. It was an important week, too, for cricket in Guernsey as the former Affiliate was upgraded to an Associate Member after it fulfilled the qualification criteria.