"We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we’ll do this," said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.
On the final day of a week of ICC meetings in Kolkata, the ICC Board today gave the green light to all Twenty20 matches between Members being awarded international status along with plans to introduce global rankings in the format.
The move across both men’s and women’s cricket, is part of the wider strategic aim of using the T20 format to globalize the game. New minimum standards will be introduced making it as easy as possible for Members to play international cricket in a sustainable and affordable way.
All Member women’s teams will be awarded T20I status on 1 July 2018, whilst all Member men’s teams will be awarded T20I status on 1 January 2019 following the cut-off point for qualification to the ICC World T20 2020. Rankings for women and men will be introduced in October 2018 and May 2019 respectively.
Code of Conduct
The ICC Code of Conduct review was also discussed throughout the week in Kolkata, with both the ICC Board and Member Chief Executives united in their commitment to address player behaviour.
There was clear direction from both to move towards stricter and heavier sanctions for ball tampering and other offences which were indicative of a lack of respect, this would include abusive language, send-offs and dissent to an umpire’s decision. In parallel with that, the creation of a culture of respect that embodies the spirit of cricket on and off the field of play.
Future Tours Programme
ICC Members have signed off a new Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-2023 that incorporates the introduction of a World Test Championship and an additional ICC World T20 event in place of the Champions Trophy in 2021. This provides opportunities for 16 teams to compete at a global level with a sub-regional, regional and global qualification process every two years, giving more regular cricket to more Members.
The final structure of the FTP (19-23), which received unanimous backing, includes the following:
ICC Cricket World Cup – 2019, 2023
ICC World T20 – 2020, 2021
ICC World Test Championship Final – 2021, 2023
World Test Championship
Cycle 1 – 2019-2021
Cycle 2 – 2021-2023
ICC Cricket World Cup Qualification League – 2020-2022
All bilateral Tests, ODIs and T20Is outside of the above competitions
ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said: “I would like to commend our Members on reaching agreement on the FTP which means the ICC World Test Championship and ODI league are now cemented into the calendar. Extending international status for all T20 bilateral games and creating a global rankings table is a positive step forward in growing cricket around the world using the shortest format of our game.
“The Code of Conduct review is a crucial piece of work and my fellow Board directors and I are committed to seeing an improvement in player behavior and ensuring a culture of respect across our sport. We will consider tougher sanctions as we work to create a culture of respect."
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “This set of meetings has seen some significant decisions made for the long term good of the game. Signing off the FTP has been the result of unwavering commitment from all Members to get to this point and we look forward to the commencement of both the new ICC World Test Championship and ODI League in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
“We are particularly pleased with the unanimous agreement to award all T20 bilateral games international status and the move to create a global ranking system for T20Is. We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we’ll do this and removing restrictions and having all Members ranked is a positive step forward.
“We have already introduced a regional qualification pathway for the ICC World T20 in 2020 which is now underway and we will continue to evolve our qualification structures across all three formats to enable Members to play regular cricket and grow the game.”
Richardson added: “The message from everyone gathered in Kolkata was loud and clear – we must act to create a culture of respect that protects the integrity of the sport. We all have a responsibility to the game and its fans and the strength of feeling around the board table today means we have a unique opportunity to improve the behavior and culture across cricket.
“We are currently in the process of confirming the individuals to support us on this review and they will meet alongside the Cricket Committee in May and make recommendations to the Board in June.”
The Board received a presentation around regulations and sanctioning of events including domestic T20 leagues and player release. There has been a sharp increase in the number of T20 leagues seeking Member and ICC approval and the associated ongoing challenge to ensure the best players are playing international cricket.
It was widely agreed that domestic T20 leagues were good for the global game but steps need to be taken to ensure international cricket remained attractive to players. As such, the Board approved the establishment of a small working group to consider the issues and make some recommendations for consideration later in the year.
Chairman of ICC
The Board agreed the process by which the ICC Chairman will be elected for the next two years from June when current Chairman Shashank Manohar’s first two-year term expires.
New concussion guidelines, which had been developed by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee were adopted by the Board. The protocols are simplified, more cricket specific and in line with the consensus statement on concussion in sport. As part of the revision process which was led by MAC Chair Dr. Peter Harcourt, the ICC received substantial input from medical representatives of Full Members.
The Board received an update on the current situation in Nepal and the ongoing suspension of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN). A recent Extraordinary General Meeting of CAN adopted a revised constitution that had been developed by an Advisory Group comprising of stakeholders in cricket in Nepal. The next step towards reinstatement is for CAN to hold elections under the new constitution.
In the USA work continues to create a new governing body for the sport, with thousands of individuals, clubs and leagues signing up to become members of USA Cricket who will now be eligible to vote for the Board of the new organisation in an election to be held in the coming weeks.
A Nominations and Governance Committee has also been named and this group will identify the three independent USA Cricket board members – at least one of whom must be a woman – who will sit alongside the elected representatives to drive cricket forward in the USA.
The Board ratified the appointment of Belinda Clark of Australia as the Women’s Committee representative on the Cricket Committee replacing Clare Connor who had served a maximum of three three-year terms. Whilst David White, CEO of New Zealand Cricket and John Stephenson, MCC both had their terms on the Men’s Cricket Committee extended.