Monir Habibi (far right, standing) during a schools program

Monir Habibi of the Iran Cricket Association has been honoured with the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedicated efforts to increase participation rates and educate umpires and scorers. It is the first award Iran has received in the eleven years of the ICC Awards scheme. “It’s a great honour for me and the country,” said the modest lady from Tehran.

The past 12 months have been particularly busy for Mrs. Habibi as she has worked to promote cricket in Iran. An ACC certified umpire and coach she has worked with the national coaches of both the men’s and women’s teams prior to their appearances in ACC events, the women particularly impressing at the recent ACC Women’s Championship after three and a half years out of international competition. Mrs. Habibi also co-managed the Iran Cricket Association’s pavilion at the SPORTEX IRAN International Exhibition, where the Sports Minister took an interest. General Manager of the ICA Saeed Behrozi says that “by her activities ICA attracted 400 new members in three categories (U-16, U-19 and adults) from men and women. Also she has been conducting training course for young girls and kids to develop cricket in Iran for free.”

Monir Habibi (centre, standing) in Tehran with more emerging cricketers, at a free clinic she conducts

ACC Development Officer for Iran Iqbal Sikander says, “Iran cricket is alive because of the efforts of people like Mrs. Habibi, she is a very unassuming lady and will be the first to share this Volunteer’s award with her colleagues but it is very much deserved for a true servant of the game. She is distinguished by her enthusiasm, energy and competence and is creating fresh, interested cricketers all the time.”

This year’s judging panel for the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards featured current ICC President Alan Isaac, alongside previous ICC Presidents Malcolm Gray, Ehsan Mani, David Morgan and Sharad Pawar, and John Stephenson of the MCC.

ICC Global Development Manager Tim Anderson said of this year’s awards: “It’s fantastic to see the winners of this year’s Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards again coming from across all five regions. The range of nominations and winners illustrates how many initiatives and people are contributing to the global development of cricket.

“On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate all the award winners, as well as the nominees who were not successful. We thank you for your commitment, passion and dedication to making cricket a bigger, better global game.”

The 2012 winners:

Best Overall Cricket Development Programme – Cricket Scotland
Best Women’s Cricket Initiative – Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (Royal Dutch Cricket Association)
Best Junior Participation Initiative – Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (Royal Dutch Cricket Association)
Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Programme – Maasai Cricket Warriors and Cricket Kenya
Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative – Vanuatu Cricket
Photo of the Year – Cricket Peru
Volunteer of the Year –Monir Habibi, Iran Cricket Association
Lifetime Service Award – Gary Fray, Bermuda Cricket Board

All global winners will receive a US$2,000 cricket equipment grant to their national cricket body.

Iran Cricket Profile
Asia’s 2012 Development Winners

Filed March 1st, 2013