ICC board meeting January 31, 2009

ICC defers decision on ICL

Cricinfo staff

The ICL's search for recognition continues to be a slow process © AFP

The status of the ICL is still in limbo, with the ICC board having deferred considering the Indian Twenty20 league's application for approval pending further discussions between the BCCI, ICL and the ICC.

The topic was again brought up for debate on the opening day of the ICC board meeting in Perth. The pressure has been growing on the ICC to take a decision on the ICL, especially from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), whose chairman Ijaz Butt said he would take up the matter at the meeting. Earlier this week, the PCB had received a letter by a legal firm on behalf of Pakistan's ICL recruits, seeking to know why and under what rules the board had banned the players.

The PCB had indicated its keenness on lifting the sanction in the past, and recently urged the ICC to change its stance on the league, stating the board had banned players under ICC rules. However, it was expected the ICL issue was unlikely to be resolved by the ICC board over the weekend, with the BCCI adopting a hard-line approach on its stance to continue with the ban on the ICL.

The ICL asked for recognition last year under an ICC rule that allows matches of an 'exhibition/testimonial' nature to be granted approval directly by the world body. The ICC then directed the BCCI to conduct discussions with the Indian board, since it considered the matter a domestic issue.

However, there was no headway in the talks between the BCCI and ICL but a subsequent meeting between ICC and the ICL in December indicated a compromise was on the cards.

The BCCI were also central to another of the issues debated after they and the ECB continued to express doubts about the idea of a World Test Championship. The ICC are keen to ensure Tests remain relevant in a game being increasingly dominated by Twenty20 and a championship is seen as a possible solution.

However, both the BCCI and ECB have reservations about the impact and effectiveness of such an idea and the ICC have agreed that further consultation is required. David Richardson, the ICC general manager for cricket, will lead this process with more reports due at the next chief executive's (CEC) meeting in Johannesburg in February.

One problem that was agreed on was over-rates, with the boarding agreeing with the view of the CEC and Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, that something had to be done to address the issue of teams not reaching the mandatory 15 overs per hour. The CEC will continue to discuss the best ways of finding a solution.