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ECB launches National Strategy with pledge for success

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today launched its National Strategy for cricket, in which it pledged to establish: (1) the England's Men's Cricket team as the top ranked Test Match team in the world by 2007, (2) the England Men's Cricket team as winners of the Cricket World Cup by 2007, and (3) the England Women to be ranked in the top two nations by the same date.

It was launched by ECB Chief Executive, Tim Lamb, at cricket's first ever National Convention, held at Woldingham School near Croydon, South London, at which all the game's key stakeholders in England and Wales gathered to develop and share an understanding of cricket's future.

The National Strategy provides a framework for the development of cricket 'from playground to Test arena' in England and Wales in the short and medium term. It contains a vision of what the ECB wants to achieve and clear pathways leading to success, but crucially also contains precise targets by which success can be measured.

The backbone to the strategy is the identification of 'Seven Steps', which are central to the development of cricket in England and Wales. Specific action plans have been produced for each step, which, in combination with each other, will deliver ECB's Vision for Cricket.

The 'Seven Steps' are: Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Club Cricket, District Cricket, Representative Cricket, First Class County Cricket and England Teams.

Announcing the National Strategy, Tim Lamb said, "We aim to ensure that England becomes and remains the most successful cricket nation in the world and to encourage the widest possible participation and interest in the game throughout England and Wales."

Kate Hoey MP, Minister for Sport, said, "At a time when the England team is performing so well, it is particularly pleasing to see the ECB looking longer-term. This strategy encompasses everything that government wants to do in sport, ensuring that everyone can have the opportunity to play, including the thousands of young women who are turning to cricket. This is a great National Strategy and I very much welcome it."

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