As part of the ICC Centenary celebrations of last year, medals were distributed amongst member countries to be awarded to individuals deserving of recognition for service to cricket. The Argentine Cricket Association duly honoured five people who have been instrumental in the development of cricket in the country over the last quarter century and all fully worthy of recognition.
Left to right: Tony Ferguson, Maurice Runnacles,
Dicky Lord, Chris Nino and Mike Ryan
Maurice Runnacles is truly a living legend of Argentine cricket, and his endless passion and energy for the sport, especially with regard development of young players, has made him a symbolic figure for the sport. Maurice is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Argentine Cricket Association, as well as heading the Development Committee affiliated to the Board. Maurice has organized and managed many junior tours abroad, and continues to campaign on behalf of youth cricket all over Argentina. His love for cricket and St.Albans has seen many young players come from the school and go on to represent the Argentine national team, and he was honoured recently by having the cricket ground at St.Albans Club named the Maurice Runnacles Oval. Maurice is also a past recipient of the ICC Americas Lifetime Service Award.
Ricardo “Dicky” Lord is a name and individual synonymous with Argentine cricket around the world, most recently as President of the ACA (since 2001), also having sat on the ICC Chief Executive's Committee. His hard work and dedication as an administrator over the last two decades, with the ACA and Lomas Athletic Club, has been instrumental in the enormous strides Argentine cricket has made globally on and off the field. Dicky also represented Argentina as a player for more than 10 years, topped the national bowling averages for a number of years, and is also a previous South XI captain. He has also been very active as a tour manager, most notably with the senior national team and the “A” side. Dicky is the current President of the Argentine Cricket Association.
Cristobal “Chris” Nino has been a stalwart of Argentine cricket as a player and administrator for many years. He represented the Argentina national cricket team for 25 years, on many occasions as captain. Chris was President of the Argentine Cricket Association from 1991 to 2001, and he played a critical role in more than 20 years of Argentina's development program, and especially within the first years of the ICC development program since 1997. On stepping down as President, Chris has remained actively involved in cricket, specifically as a Trustee of the Argentine Cricket Association, as well as a Board member of the Belgrano Athletic Club, and responsible for various aspects of cricket in the club. He has held the position of vice-president of the club as well. His great passion for youth cricket and the development of the game in Argentina has kept him actively involved at grass-roots level, and his desire to see the game spread regionally saw him co-found the South American championship in 1995. Chris is a past captain of Argentina, and served as President of the ACA from 1991 to 2001.
Antonio “Tony” Ferguson is arguably the greatest Argentine cricketer of the modern post-war era, and has left an undeniable mark on the course of Argentine cricket history. The Ferguson name is to Argentina what Pollock is to South Africa, as two of Tony's sons are now part of the national team. Tony's father, George, was also a great player and represented Argentina with distinction. Tony made his debut for Argentina at age 16 and played for the national team for over 30 years, representing Argentina at five ICC Trophy tournaments. On the domestic front, he was leading run-scorer in league on countless occasions, and holds the record for having topped the annual batting averages more times than anyone else. He also captained the South XI on many occasions. A former member of the ACA Executive Committee and Belgrano AC Board, Tony has been a stalwart, especially in cricket administration and development with Belgrano Athletic Club, and in addition has managed a number of youth tours overseas.
Miguel “Mike” Ryan is a major driving force behind the development of cricket in Argentina, and is passionate about the development of young players. He is a genuine patron to many young cricketers who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to make their way into the sport. As a player, Mike represented the national team for more than 20 years, playing in three ICC Trophy events, and played for the South XI for nearly two decades. He is a previous manager of the senior national team, and today is the President of Lomas Athletic Club. There is no doubt that without his generosity, passion and support over the last two decades, Argentine cricket would not be as healthy as it is today, and many cricketers currently active in Argentina would not even have had the opportunity to play the game at all.