The ICC Board held its second meeting of 2016 at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on 24 April. Among the decisions made and reports received were:
ICC World Twenty20 India 2016
The Board congratulated the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for completing an unprecedented treble by winning the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 as well as women’s and men’s titles at the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016.
The Board also complemented the BCB and the BCCI for the successful staging of these events and also thanked its broadcasters, commercial partners, fans and media for their support in making these events a success from a fan engagement perspective.
The Board considered the behavior of some of the West Indies players in the immediate aftermath of the final, and unanimously agreed that certain comments and actions were inappropriate, disrespectful and brought the event into disrepute. The Board acknowledged an apology by the WICB but was disappointed to note that such behavior had detracted from the success of what was otherwise a magnificent tournament and final.
ICC Chairman Mr Shashank Manohar said: “The sport of cricket is proud of its unique spirit and this involves being gracious in victory as well as defeat and respectful at all times to the game, one’s opponents, the sponsors and the fans.”
The Board also noted that very serious consideration had been given to bringing Code of Conduct charges in respect of the behavior of the West Indies players and emphasised that this was not acceptable conduct at ICC Events played out on a world stage in front of millions of people around the globe.
Independence of Member Boards
In light of the ongoing court case involving the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and the Ad hoc Committee established by the Nepalese National Sports Council (NSC), which has led to a vacuum of cricket leadership in Nepal, the Board suspended the Membership of CAN for breach of Article 2.9 of the ICC’s Articles of Association, which prohibits government interference and requires free and fair elections.
The suspension means that CAN will not be entitled to receive any ICC funding. However, the Board, in its absolute discretion and considering that the players should not suffer due to this suspension, decided that the Nepal cricket teams would be able to continue to feature in ICC events.
ICC management will also now work with the Nepalese cricket community, and other stakeholders, in order to assist with the development of a sustainable governance and administration structure for cricket in Nepal.
The Board maintained that it doesn’t accept government interference in the affairs of its Members as it wants all its Members to work independently with the best intentions of promoting and developing the game in their respective territories in accordance with the ICC’s objectives and strategy. It added that until such time as the CAN becomes free of government interference and is properly structured to begin exploiting the tremendous cricket talent and opportunities that exist in Nepal, the membership of CAN will remain suspended.
Election of ICC Chairman
Following on from the February 2016 meeting decision to urgently re-establish the ‘independent’ position of ICC Chairman, the Board agreed that the election of the ICC Chairman by the Board will be held through a secret ballot in late May after all constitutional amendments have been approved by the Full Council in the coming weeks.
The election process will be overseen by the ICC’s independent Audit Committee Chairman and all present and past ICC directors will be eligible to contest the election. However, candidates can only be nominated by a fellow ICC director who, in turn, will be allowed to provide no more than one nominee. Any nominee with the support of at least two Full Member ICC directors will be put forward as a candidate for election.
The elected independent Chairman will not be allowed to hold any national or provincial position with any Member Board.
Adding context and value to bilateral cricket schedules and structures
There was an extensive discussion about the current state of bilateral international cricket, during which options for future international competitions in the three formats were also explored. While it remains a work in progress, as there needs to be further discussions, including at the forthcoming ICC Cricket Committee meeting, there was a consensus amongst the group that a model which adds greater context to international cricket needed to be created as a matter of priority, so international cricket can be best positioned to connect with the next generation of cricket fans.
ODI fund for Afghanistan and Ireland
In line with the ICC’s Game and Market Development Strategy, the Board approved a short-term ODI fund of $500K each for Afghanistan Cricket Board and Cricket Ireland. The fund is being provided to the two countries to allow them the opportunity to schedule more bilateral series, which, in turn, will support their bid to improve their team rankings and claims to secure direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
In January 2014, the two Members were added to the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings of 12 teams, while England and the next seven highest-ranked sides as on 30 September 2017 will automatically qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
In addition to this, the two countries also participate in the ICC funded Intercontinental Cup, which is a pathway to Test cricket.
Members confirmed their support for day/night Tests and it was noted that a number of day/night Tests were being considered for the forthcoming year. It was reiterated that administrators must embrace innovation and understand the demands and expectations of the spectators and fans, keeping alive and growing interest in the traditional format of the game.
The ICC had approved the concept in October 2012, while the first day/night Test was staged in Adelaide between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015.
Expansion of cricket
On cricket’s potential participation in the Olympics and/or Commonwealth Games, the ICC Board received an update from the management and agreed that further discussions were required with the Members and the other stakeholders, including the IOC and Commonwealth Games Federation before a final position could be adopted.
The Board received an update on cricket in China and was impressed to note that there were approximately 80,000 participants in the country, including around 35,000 female cricketers. The Chinese Women’s National team also narrowly missed out on qualification for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2016. It was agreed that ICC must continue to work with the Chinese Cricket Association to develop a long term strategy for cricket’s development in China.
The Board received a report on the development of cricket in the United States of America (USA) and expressed its satisfaction with the progress made in-line with the previously approved strategic framework. It was also decided that the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 event, which the USA will participate in, would be staged by the ICC in Los Angeles in late 2016.
The audited financial statements for 2015 were also approved by the Board.