Afghanistan have continued their progress this year, welcoming new, promising players into the side seamlessly. Usman Ghani and Sharafuddin Ashraf are the first two successful graduates of the fearsome Under-19 side, which is a match for almost any Full Member. Hashmatullah Shaidi's rampant domestic form indicates that he is about to become the third.
This year has seen three landmark ODI victories over Full Members: the 32-run defeat of Bangladesh to finish fourth in the Asia Cup, and the brace of consecutive victories to draw their series against Zimbabwe. But it has also seen an embarrassing 3-1 series loss against the United Arab Emirates, and a deeply disappointing World Twenty20 in which they suffered heavy losses against both Bangladesh and Nepal, all of which is symptomatic of a team that isn't yet familiar with one another.
Canada's year was over in January, when they failed to clinch a World Cup berth, failed to retain their ODI status, and finally failed to earn a consolation victory over the Dutch.
The writing was on the wall when they were comprehensively out-played by Uganda to lose their second warm-up match but 71 runs, but losing to the UAE (by 80 runs), Hong Kong (by 9 wickets, with 25 overs remaining) and Scotland (by 170 runs) was an abject failure. Even a narrow win over Nepal couldn't redeem things. This leaves Canada in limbo, and they will go into their WCL Division Two campaign in January having played no cricket for a year.
There has been some recognition for individual Canadian players and clubs, though; Toronto defeated the USA's Midwest Conference 3-0 to become the inaugural North American Champions, while five Canadians (including Nikhil Dutta and Nitish Kumar) are amongst the Americas U-23 players to have the opportunity to earn Canadian Premier League contracts next year. It's some small consolation after a horrible year.
Hong Kong's year got off to an incredible start, where five victories in seven World Cup Qualifier matches were enough to claim One-Day International Status for the next four years.
The World Twenty20 followed close on the heels of that tournament, and Hong Kong went into it with successive victories over the Netherlands, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Dutch again in their warm-up games. In that context, their losses to Nepal and Afghanistan were a major disappointment, but they restored some dignity by defeating Bangladesh on their own turf.
Compared to their early form, the rest of the year has been something of an anti-climax, with fifth place in the ACC Premier League, a clean-sweep of losses to PNG, and a rain-ravaged T20 series in Sri Lanka being very little to show for their efforts. Even so, though, Hong Kong cricket has reached new heights this year.
It says something about the progress that Ireland have made that a year containing victories of West Indies and Zimbabwe would be considered a disappointment, but that is exactly how they will view 2014.
In February, a jet-lagged Irish side limped to heavy defeats against Guyana and Jamaica, before getting their act together in time for the T20 games against the full West Indian side. In the first of them, Ireland won comfortably, but they choked in the second, failing to chase 97 on a tricky track.
The World Twenty20 started well, with wins over Bangladesh and UAE, but their entire season was knocked sidewise by That Game against the Netherlands. For the rest of the year, they only mustered a handful of wins: two over Scotland, two over the Australian Capital Territory, and one over New Zealand 'A'. Not the sort of haul the Irish would expect.
There are still good signs, though; Craig Young has made an excellent start to his Irish career, while Nick Larkin and Peter Chase have made flying starts to their first-class careers.
Kenya have suffered through a truly embarrassing 2014. It didn't start that way; in the World Cup Qualifier, Kenya put a couple of defeats behind them to dispatch Uganda and go into their fixture against the Netherlands with a theoretical chance of making the Super Sixes or even retaining their ODI status.
Irfan Karim and Ragheb Aga both played stunning innings to chase down 266 within 36 overs, and send Dutch cricket into crisis. For Kenya, though, a Super Six win was not enough to retain ODI status; the first time they have been without it since before I was born.
Since then, their season has staggered from one embarrassment to another; the wall-to-wall defeats were broken up by a couple of victories against the Namibian 'A' team, but they were hardly headline-grabbing wins.
Finally, the Kenyans arranged a visit to Pakistan to play five matches against their 'A' team, live on Pakistani TV. It was horrific. The Kenyans were bowled out cheaply in all five games, and only bowled well once. Most disappointingly of all, there was a re-call for Jimmy Kamande. Why, I simply don't know.
It's been quite a quiet year for Namibia, but thanks to their arrangement with Cricket South Africa, they've played plenty of matches. A hat-trick of victories to open the World Cup Qualifier would have given them a genuine hope of qualifying for the World Cup, but they followed that with four losses to dispel any such notion.
Since then, they've played little international cricket. The Under-19s were the whipping boys of their World Cup group of death, which also included Afghanistan, Australia and Bangladesh, while many of the same players defeated Kenya in both matches played in November.
In the Provincial competitions, Namibia have struggled, due in some part to their policy of blooding as many young players in possible, but they have shown their quality in the Twenty20 competition. They've not won a game in this season's first-class and List A competitions, but they are yet to lose one in the Twenty20s; Gerrie Snyman, Sarel Burger and JJ Smit have all been excellent.
It's been a frenetic year for Nepal. For eleven months, it has been excellent, but January was rather unpleasant for the passionate Nepalese fans. In the World Cup Qualifier, Nepal failed to win a game until their final match, against Uganda, which they won to avoid the wooden spoon.
Since then, though, Nepal have been excellent. Their strong performance in the World Twenty20 led them to second in their group, defeating both Afghanistan and Hong Kong, and subsequently they were awarded Twenty20 International status by the ICC.
They also performed well in the ACC Premier League, finishing third and defeating two ODI opponents, before winning the World Cricket League Division Three outright.
Several young players have been introduced to the Nepalese side and made an instant impact: Sompal Kami, KC Karan and Jitendra Mukhiya showing that Nepal no longer have to rely on their left-arm spinners for wickets.
When Kenya put in a rare good performance to send the Netherlands crashing out of the World Cup Qualifier, 2014 looked like being a complete write-off for the Netherlands. But that was before the World Twenty20.
A brace of losses in the warm-up games belied the form that the Dutch showed once the tournament got going. After a straight-forward win over UAE, they took Zimbabwe right down to the last ball (which was hit for six by Vusi Sibanda). This left them needing to flatten Ireland in order to progress, but flatten them they did, chasing down 193 in a scarcely-believable 13.5 overs.
There was a blip when they were bowled out for 39 by Sri Lanka, but they came right back at South Africa; the Full Member won by six runs, but the Associate was the better side. They performed admirably against New Zealand, but better bowlers than them have been battered by Brendon McCullum this season.
In the final game, against England, the Dutch batsmen stumbled to 133 for five, but the bowlers made sure that they didn't miss out on the victory by bowling England out for a paltry 88. The Dutch now also have Twenty20 International status.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea have enjoyed a year that started off well and got progressively better. In January, they did enough to earn One-Day International status, largely thanks to two terrific centuries by Lega Siaka.
Since then, they became the first side ever to win their first two ODI games, thanks to a series sweep over Hong Kong. In that game, Siaka was back in the runs again with an excellent debut hundred. Vani Morea and Charles Amini also racked up plenty of runs in those games, another example of the consistent improvement that has been happening in recent years.
Their final game of the season was a three-day match, the longest game that many players in the UAE side had ever played, which they won by 133 runs.
Their new status should bring more fixtures and more opportunities next year, although Geraint Jones may not always be available now that he has been made Gloucestershire captain.
The Scots didn't have much cricket to play this year, owing to their failure to qualify for the World Twenty20 and their exclusion from county cricket, but when they did play, they performed well.
In January, they put the bad memories of the World Twenty20 Qualifier, and a defeat to Hong Kong, behind them to sweep to victory with a run of seven straight wins. Calum MacLeod set a new Scottish record 175 in the 170-run defeat of Canada.
After that, cricket was sporadic. A lone ODI against England resulted in a loss, but not before Michael Leask had given James Tredwell something of a fright. A three-match series against the Netherlands followed; a loss in the first game was cancelled out by a crushing 144-run win in the second before the decider was rained off. Calum MacLeod powered them to a rare ODI win over Ireland in September, but the series was already lost by then.
The final notable result of 2014 was during the acclimatisation tour, when the Scots came within a single run of a Kiwi XI featuring most of their big names.
United Arab Emirates
This year has been quietly positive for the UAE, aside from one major blip. In the World Cup Qualifier, they won six of their eight games, and were only defeated by eventual winners Scotland, thereby regaining ODI status and winning a World Cup berth. Unfortunately, this form deserted them when the cameras turned up; all three of their World Twenty20 matches were lost fairly comfortably.
Since that blip, though, Khurram Khan's team have been steadily improving, led by the man himself. After a worrying start to the ACC Premier League, they dispatched the bottom three sides in the competition to finish as runners up.
Later in the year, they twice defeated a strong Pakistan 'A' team before finishing the year with a 3-1 series win over Afghanistan which bodes well for the World Cup. What doesn't bode so well is that Mohammad Shahzad and Salman Farooq have both been reported for suspect actions.
Players of the Year
18-year-old Sompal Kami took the People's Choice award this year, becoming the second successive Nepalese player to do so. This is a reflection of the passionate support that they give their players, and it is no surprise that his nearest challenger was an Afghan.
However, that takes nothing away from his achievements this year. After a relatively quiet World Twenty20, he really found his feet in the ACC Premier League, where he topped the wicket tally with 15 wickets at 15.13. Five wickets at four apiece in the Asian games; 11 wickets at 19.54 in WCL3, and 18 wickets 10.06 in matches that may or may not be first-class in Sri Lanka all followed on this rich vein of form, before he played a world record innings against Hong Kong in Colombo.
He is a deserving winner.
The winner of the People's Choice award, 43-year-old airline steward Khurram Khan, is easily old enough to be Kami's father, but there is no sign of his powers diminishing with age.
He has consistently carried the Emirati batting on his shoulders this year, and has done so with distinction. He scored 581 excellent runs in the World Cup Qualifier at an average of 72.62, and has added another 405 runs at 101.25 in his last six List A and ODI innings. His unbeaten 132 against Afghanistan comfortably gave him the world record for the oldest One-Day International centurion, displacing no lesser man than Sanath Jayasuriya.
To talk only about his batting would be to dismiss his contributions as a left-arm spinner and an inspirational captain, both of which are also very strong suits.