The issues covered by the ICC Cricket Committee included Test cricket and ODI playing conditions
The ICC Cricket Committee is empowered to make recommendations on cricket playing issues to the Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) and, if the matter is a policy matter, the ICC Board for approval.
Both CEC and the ICC Board are scheduled to meet during the ICC annual conference at Lord’s from 25-29 June.
The committee is representative of all stakeholders in the modern game, including players, umpires and the media, and was chaired for the first time by former India captain, Anil Kumble, who has taken over from former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd.
The following were among the issues covered by the ICC Cricket Committee:
The ICC Cricket Committee reiterated its support for the strategy of ensuring an optimum balance and a clear differentiation between the three formats of the game, and noted the need to ensure that Test cricket, in particular, was protected. Noting the examples during the year where Test matches had been postponed to make room for other formats of the game, the committee recommended that all Test playing Members should be required to play a minimum number of Test matches over a four-year period in order to maintain their Test status.
The Committee also supported the concept of a Test play-off event as the climax to a qualification period of bi-lateral FTP matches with the ICC Reliance Test Rankings being used to determine the qualifiers for this event.
One-Day International Playing Conditions
The committee reviewed the impact of the recent changes to the Standard ODI playing conditions, namely the restriction of four fieldsmen being allowed outside the circle during non-powerplay overs, the introduction of two bouncers per over, the abolishment of the bowling powerplay and the introduction of two new balls.
Whilst noting the positive impact that the changes appeared to be making in producing a more attacking game (more boundaries and more wickets), the committee noted some concerns regarding the impact of using two new balls in conditions that are more favourable to seam bowling and the possible detrimental impact on spin bowling. Whilst recognising the need to settle on the playing conditions well in advance of the next ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015, the committee felt that further data on the impact of the changes was still needed and that any decision on this matter should be delayed to later in the year.
Switch hit/Reverse sweep
The Committee received a report from the MCC on the switch hit/reserve sweep that included feedback from current and former players as well as international umpires, and accepted a recommendation from the MCC that as the shot was exciting, required a lot of skill and, therefore, that it should remain a legitimate part of the game. As is currently the case in international limited overs cricket, the provision of some leeway to the bowling side for wides when the switch-hit/reverse sweep is attempted will be continued.
In addition to the above, the committee noted and discussed papers relating to over-rates (noting an improvement in the Test over rates), progress made with the development of new DRS technology, women’s cricket, umpire performances, pink ball trials, illegal bowling actions and helmet safety research.
ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, reflecting on the meeting said: “I’m thankful to the Committee members for their valuable contribution and input. The discussions over the last couple of days have been of the highest standards and a lot of positive ideas and proposals have come out of these discussions.
“The Committee’s recommendation will now be taken forward to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and the ICC Board as required and then we will seek to roll out the agreed decisions from October 2013.”
Note: The remit of the ICC Cricket Committee is to discuss and consult on any cricket-playing matters and to formulate recommendations to the CEC which relate to cricket-playing matters.
The ICC Cricket Committee comprises:
Anil Kumble (chairman)
David Richardson (ICC Chief Executive – ex-officio)
Andrew Strauss (past player representative)
Kumar Sangakkara and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (current player representatives)
Clare Connor (women’s cricket representative)
David White (member board representative)
Trent Johnston (associate representative)
Ravi Shastri (media representative)
Steve Davis (umpires’ representative)
Ranjan Madugalle (referees’ representative)
John Stephenson (MCC representative)
David Kendix (statistician representative)
Alan Isaac (ICC President – ex-officio)
Mark Taylor (past player representative)
Gary Kirsten (full member team coach representative)