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ICC honchos meeting culminates in Dubai

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MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council met on Wednesday at the ICC headquarters in Dubai for the second of its scheduled quarterly meetings of 2014. The Board discussed a range of issues, including reports from the ICC chief executives’, audit, finance and commercial affairs, among other plans.

The two day meeting that ended today resulted in some very important announcements regarding the schedule for 2014 as well as the coming years.

Meritocratic pathway for Test cricket

The ICC Board approved the introduction of an ICC Test Challenge which will take place every four years between the lowest ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

The proposal is that the 10th ranked side on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings on 31 December 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day matches at home and two five-day matches away against the winner of the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup, with the inaugural Challenge scheduled to take place during 2018.

In the next eight years, two ICC Intercontinental Cup tournaments are planned with the first to run from 2015 to 2017 and the second to be held between 2019 and 2021.  The second ICC Test Challenge is scheduled for 2022.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket.”

ICC reform of governance and financial models

Further to the resolutions passed at the ICC Board meeting in Singapore on 8 February 2014, the ICC Board members agreed a long-term work plan to support the implementation of those resolutions which do not require constitutional change.

At the same time the ICC Board authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June.

One of the cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023.

Richardson explained: “The FTP is a very important piece of work as it gives Members long-term certainty in relation to both their playing schedule and financial planning. Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements.”

ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014

The ICC Board thanked the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the successful staging of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 and praised the Bangladesh government, security agencies and the general public for their contributions and support. The ICC Board also congratulated Sri Lanka for winning the men’s title and Australia’s women for completing a hat-trick of titles.

ICC president Alan Isaac said: “The ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 was an extremely successful event which was thoroughly enjoyed by the players, officials, spectators and media. A lot of credit must be given to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the ICC team for putting up a memorable show.”

“The event helped Bangladesh enhance its infrastructure in Dhaka and Chittagong and develop a new international venue in Sylhet.  Sri Lanka’s triumph means the event has produced five different men’s champions in as many editions. The encouraging performances of the Associate Members and their successes over the Full Members clearly reflect that the ICC World Twenty20 is the most open tournament on the ICC calendar,” he added.

Format and qualification process for the ICC World Twenty20 2016

Following the success of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, the ICC Board agreed that the same format be retained for the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2016, which will be staged in India.

For the 2016 event, the top eight Full Members on the Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings as on 30 April 2014 will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the first round. The six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from 9 July to 2 August 2015 during which a total of 51 matches will be played.

ICC Cricket Committee

The Board ratified the appointment of Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson as the representatives of national coaches on the ICC Cricket Committee following the completion of former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten’s term.

Other updates

The ICC Board also considered a general update on anti-corruption and integrity while the IDI Board received a report from the Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee which included updates on the commercial rights post-2015, Host and Members’ Participation Agreements for the next commercial rights cycle, online piracy, event forecasts and audited financial statements for 2013.

The next ICC and IDI Board meetings will take place during the ICC Annual Conference week in Melbourne in June 2014.

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