From Donald Duff in Barbados
The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday announced that it had approved three recommended changes to the One day game, suspended the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) and approved a strategy for the continued development of the game.
This was disclosed by ICC’s Chief Executive Dave Richardson at a press conference yesterday at the Hilton Hotel in Barbados.
The press conference brought an end to the historic first annual conference of the organization to be held in the Caribbean.
More than 50 high ranking officials of the world governing body for cricket took part in the annual conference which sought to chart a new course for the game.
According to Richardson, among some of the new plans are to make sure that there is a world class environment for the sport; make sure that men’s and women’s international cricket is attractive to play and watch; make sure that there is integrity in the sport that it is free from corruption and doping and to make sure that the major events such as the World Cup, T20 competitions are generating good enough revenue which will be ploughed back into the game for all the members of the ICC.
Richardson said that while the sport of T20 was growing in popularity, the challenge for the ICC was to make test and ODI cricket sustainable going forward by taking advantage of the new fans generated through T20.
Richardson also disclosed that Sri Lanka because of government intervention in its cricket was unable to attend the meeting as a Full Member and the Interim Committee attended the meetings as observers.
“The government of Sri Lanka has always said that their intervention in appointing an Interim Committee is temporary, and they intend holding elections as soon as possible.
“On that basis, Sri Lanka cricket continues as normal. Once they hold elections they will be readmitted as a Full Member with full voting rights etc.”, he declared.
In a move totally unexpected the ICC yesterday announced the suspension of the USACA with immediate effect following the report of a Task Force headed by Richardson himself and the ICC’s head of Global Development Tim Anderson.
“The group compiled a detailed, comprehensive report that didn’t make for very pretty reading to be honest,” said Richardson.
“It (the report) indicated significant concerns about the governance, the financial position, the reputation, and the cricketing activities of cricket in the US,” he added.
Richardson said that following the discussion of the report by the board and its sub committees, the ICC Board also met with USA cricket representatives and subsequently decided to suspend the USACA.
“The Board under the powers vested in article 2.7 of the of the ICC’s articles of associations, unanimously decided to suspend the membership of USA cricket association with immediate effect.”
Richardson said the USACA will not be entitled to any ICC funding nor will they be able to sanction approved cricket.
“The ICC will make that determination in accordance with section 32 of its operating manual,” he said.
However, Richardson said that the USACA will still be permitted to field teams in the ICC upcoming events such as the World T20 qualifiers and the upcoming U19 Americas championships in Bermuda.
Richardson said for the suspension to be lifted and its membership restored the “USACA will be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the ICC Board, that the conditions relating to governance, finance and its cricket activities have all been addressed, all those concerns have been addressed, and remedied in full.”
USA cricket will now come under the management of representatives of the BCCI, Cricket Australia, the ECB and the West Indies cricket Board.
Limited overs cricket
As was expected, based on recommendations of the Cricket Committee following a review of the World Cup competition, the ICC approved several changes to the playing conditions for One Day matches.
The recommendations approved are – No close catchers in the first 10 overs of the innings, no batting powerplays, and the ability to have five fielders outside the 30-yard circle during the last 10 overs of a limited overs match.
Additionally free hits will be awarded for all no balls bowled in One day and T20 matches. This rule will come into effect from July 5.
“What we tried to do is make the game simpler for the fan and at the same time try and at least claw back a little bit of balance in favour of the bowlers especially in the last 10 overs of the innings,” said Richardson yesterday.
“So to that end we’ve gotten rid of the need to have compulsory close catchers in the first 10 overs.
“We have got rid of the batting powerplays where you were only allowed three fielders outside the circle. It was normally taken between the 36th and 40th overs. So you had those …overs where it was all hell broke loose and especially if a batsman was set on a good batting wicket we were on a hiding to nothing,” he declared.