The chief executive of the Ukraine Cricket Federation (UCF) Kobus Olivier has claimed to meet all the requirements to become an associate member of the International Cricket Council. Olivier has urged the cricket world that the game would not survive in the country if they rejected the association.
The UCF has a pool of 15,000 students at the senior level and most of them are Indians. The country has been organizing cricket for the last two decades.
The war-torn country is expected to get second-tier membership at the ICC’s board meeting this month. The membership will entitle Ukraine to T20I status and funds from the ICC, which has earmarked $30.8 million for its 96 associate members this year.
Kobus Olivier told Reuters, “We ticked all the boxes on Feb. 24 when the war started. I have so much belief in this process … and I am absolutely confident Ukraine will be an associate member of the ICC.”
“These refugee mothers are actually going to make the Ukrainian national team in a couple of years,” added Olivier.
The UCF chief executive was asked about the country’s situation in cricket if the ICC rejects its membership application. He replied, “It will be the end of cricket in Ukraine.”
After fleeing Kyiv, Olivier set up a base in Zagreb while the UCF President Hardeep Singh has made arrangements for the cricketers to train in India. Olivier is also likely to host Ukrainian Freedom Cup, a cricket tournament between five teams- Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary and Czech Republic in Zagreb next month.