June 25, 2001

Italy Withdraws from ICC Trophy

Italy has withdrawn its team from the ICC Trophy tournament in Toronto, Canada following a disagreement over player qualification rules.

The decision follows confirmation of the player Qualification Rules for the ICC Trophy by ICC Associate members at their annual meeting in London on Saturday, 16th June. Italy was of the view that players who become citizens at birth of a country other than where they were physically born should be included in the birth category of the tournament Rules.

Following the decision of the Associates meeting on the non eligibility of the four Italian players who came into this category, Italy decided to withdraw from the 2001 ICC Trophy.

FCI President, Simone Gambino, said: "Citizenship by birth is a matter of national sovereignty for a country. We strongly disagree with ICC's right to discriminate within the framework of Italian law. However, on the understanding that the whole matter is about to be reviewed and the principles that Italy has fought for will be considered, Italy accepts today's decision for the good of the game."

ICC President, Malcolm Gray commented: "We respect Italy's right to reach this decision, but the other Associate countries involved in the ICC Trophy nonetheless regret the fact that Italy will not now be competing.

The issue of birth and citizenship is an increasingly complex one and ICC will be undertaking a full review of player qualification rules for all events under its auspices, from Test match cricket to regional under 19 competitions.

Media contacts:
Mark Harrison
ICC Communications Manager
Tel: + 44 20 7266 7913/1818