New FTP, change in Champions Trophy venues to be ratified March 19, 2006

Crucial ICC meeting to discuss host of issues

Cricinfo staff

Ehsan Mani: Keeping all the stakeholders happy © Getty Images

The ICC's Executive Board which meets in Dubai on March 21 and 22 has a number of crucial issues on its agenda. "This meeting is an important opportunity for the directors from across our membership base to guide the direction of international cricket on a range of major issues," ICC President Ehsan Mani said.

A new six-year Future Tours Programme is likely to replace the current five-year programme for the ICC's 10 Full Members. The new proposal, a culmination of two years and 10 drafts, would require all the Full Member-sides to play home and away series against each other within the six -year period, each series comprising a minimum of two Test matches and three ODIs.

The draft FTP also provides opportunities for several series to take place on a more frequent basis including Australia v England, Australia v India, Bangladesh v Zimbabwe and England v India among others.

The board will also evaluate Zimbabwe's readiness to resume Test cricket when it approaches the end of its 12-month voluntary withdrawal from Test commitments early in 2007. It will be apprised by Peter Chingoka, the chairman of the Interim Committee of Zimbabwe Cricket, regarding financial mismanagement, the composition of the Interim Board and on improving relations with players.

The board will receive an independent written report from India's Solicitor General Goolam Vahanvati on incidents of racist crowd behaviour in Australia during the home series against South Africa. The meeting will also consider a request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to increase the number of venues from three to four for the Champions Trophy. The ICC had previously indicated that should the BCCI seek to increase the number of venues, the extra costs would be borne by the BCCI. The change would require amendments to the schedule but the tournament duration would remain the same.

The meeting will take a decision on whether to prematurely end the experimental Supersub rule after feedback from stakeholders, including current and former players, in February had recommended its scrapping.

The introduction of a formal pitch-monitoring process, which would include potential sanctions ranging from a formal warning to suspension of international status for venues that produce substandard pitches, and making an anti-doping code mandatory for all ICC events beginning with October's ICC Champions Trophy in India are also on the anvil.