ICC remains committed to Pakistan, talks security and budget

The International Cricket Council is now exploring from the “security and budget perspective” the possibility of staging a Twenty20 series involving a World XI team in Pakistan.

In this Mar. 3, 2009 file photo, a Sri Lankan players board into a helicopter at Gaddafi stadium after the shooting incident by terrorists in Lahore. With the exception of Zimbabwe, no international team has toured Pakistan ever since.   -  AP

The International Cricket Council is now exploring from the “security and budget perspective” the possibility of staging a Twenty20 series involving a World XI team in Pakistan, as part of of its commitment to see international cricket return to that country.

With the sole exception of Zimbabwe, no international cricket nation has toured Pakistan since the terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. “The feasibility of further matches in Pakistan involving a World XI is now being considered from a security and budget perspective,” the ICC said in a statement.

The International Cricket Council had sent a team to carry out inspection around the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final. “The ICC Board has considered an update following the ICC delegation to the PSL final in Lahore as part of its commitment to support the return of international bilateral cricket to Pakistan as long as it is safe for players, officials, media and fans.”

The four-match series at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium is intended to continue the reintroduction of top-level cricket to the country after a near eight-year hiatus. At the end of five days of ICC’s Board and Committee meetings, the principles behind a revised ICC World Twenty20 2020 global qualification structure were endorsed by the Development Committee and ICC management will now develop a more detailed proposal for consideration at the ICC Board meeting in June.

‘Collective will’

According to the apex body, work on bringing more context to international bilateral cricket is ongoing with the matter discussed at the Chief Executives’ Committee and in an additional workshop. “The ICC Board noted the collective will to resolve the current calendar congestion in order to bring a clear framework to all three formats.”

Noting the BCCI’s commitment to reconsider the matter in the near future, the Chief Executives’ Committee reconfirmed its support for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “It has been a very productive week. Progress has been made on a number of significant issues, in particular around international cricket structures. Efforts to find a solution, enhancing the context of international bilateral cricket and retaining the relevance of the international game, will continue.”

The ICC Board approved a new Code of Ethics in line with global best practice to join together most effective practices from sport and other industry. Among other things, the eight top-ranked One-Day International (ODI) teams competing in the second edition of the Women’s Championship commencing later this year will be required to play a fixed set of three ODI fixtures against each of the other teams.

The Women’s Committee has also recommended that any additional matches played (up to five) should be T20Is in recognition of the role the format can play in the growth of the game. It was agreed that a separate rankings system for Women’s ODI and T20I cricket be developed with the latter being fully inclusive of all international teams playing that format.

It was agreed that Decision Review System (DRS) can be used in women’s televised bilateral ODIs if host Member boards choose to do so. The ICC Board also agreed to a recommendation from the Development Committee to pay the outstanding salaries to national contracted players whilst the Cricket Association of Nepal is suspended and undergoing constitutional reform and reinstatement process.

The ICC Board, on the recommendation of the Audit Committee and Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee approved the unqualified audited financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2016. Following consideration of a report on ICC activities in China, the Board agreed to the development of a detailed China Growth Strategy for consideration by the ICC Board in June in consultation with the Asian Cricket Council and Hong Kong Cricket Association.