Decisions taken by the ICC Board include:
The ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, considered the current issues in the international game, and presented its recommendations which were approved. One of the issues discussed was the current approach to Umpire’s Call.
Kumble said: “The Cricket Committee had an excellent discussion around Umpire’s Call and analysed its use extensively. The principle underpinning DRS was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology. Umpire’s Call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains.”
In addition, three other changes to the DRS and 3rd Umpire protocols were approved. These are as follows:
- For LBW reviews, the height margin of the Wicket Zone will be lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire’s Call margin around the stumps for both height and width.
- A player will be able to ask the umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball before deciding to review an LBW decision.
- The 3rd Umpire will check a replay of any short run that has been called and correct any error prior to the next ball being bowled.
The interim COVID-19 regulations that were introduced in 2020 to allow international cricket to resume as quickly and safely as possible will continue to be applied. These were as follows:
- The flexibility to be able to appoint home umpires where neutral umpires were previously required.
- The additional DRS review per team per innings in all formats.
- The ban on using saliva to polish the ball, and
- The availability of a COVID-19 replacement in Test matches.
The committees noted the excellent performances by the home umpires over the past 9 months but encouraged the more widespread appointment of neutral Elite Panel umpires whenever circumstances allow.
The recent introduction of replacement players for both concussion and COVID-19 prompted a discussion at the Cricket Committee on the more general use of replacement players in the international game. To better understand the implications of allowing players to be replaced during a match the definition of a First-Class Match will be changed to allow the unqualified use of replacement players.
Two changes have been approved to the women’s ODI playing conditions; firstly, the discretionary 5-over batting powerplay has been removed and secondly, all tied matches will be decided by a Super Over.
Mel Jones (Cricket Australia) and Catherine Campbell (New Zealand Cricket) have been appointed as the Full Member representatives on the ICC Women’s Committee.
It was decided that Test and ODI status shall be permanently awarded to all Full Member women’s teams. Additionally, it was agreed that all matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games be classified as women’s T20 Internationals.
The Board received an update on the ongoing preparations around the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India. This included an update from the BCCI on positive discussions with the Indian government around tax arrangements and visa guarantees. It is anticipated that both issues will be resolved over the next month.
The Board agreed to postpone the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 Cricket World Cup 2021 which was due to be held in Bangladesh at the end of the year. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the establishment and subsequent development of the U19 programmes in many countries and teams would not be able prepare appropriately for a global event later this year. As such, the inaugural event will now take place in January 2023.
Similarly, to allow teams the best possible preparation, the global qualifier for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, will also be postponed and will now be held in December 2021.
The ICC Board agreed to allow Members to take up to seven additional players and / or support staff to accompany the squad of 23 to ICC senior events where a period of quarantine is required and / or teams are accommodated in a bio-secure bubble.
The ICC Board agreed to set up a Member Support Fund for Cricket with USD 5 million being made available in grants to support the playing of international cricket. The fund will be made available in form of a “co-payment” contribution with a maximum grant of 50% being available for Members upon application.