ICC committee gives executives plenty to ponder
The newly constituted ICC Cricket Committee (ICC CC) concluded its two-day meeting in Dubai on Thursday and came up with a swathe of recommendations to be considered by the ICC chief executives when they meet in London at the end of June. They will then decide whether to implement the measures.
The following were among the issues discussed
The committee was asked by the ICC board to review the Law as it relates to ball tampering. This followed the events at the Test match in August when the umpires awarded the match to England on the grounds of Pakistan's refusal to play after it was accused of ball tampering.
The committee recommended that:
Any action/s likely to alter the condition of the ball which are not specifically permitted under Law 42.3 (a) may be regarded as 'unfair'. The following actions shall not be permitted (This list of actions is not exhaustive but included for illustrative purposes):
Deliberately throwing the ball into the ground for purposes of roughing it up Applying any artificial substance to the ball; and applying any non-artificial substance for any purpose other than to polish the ball Lifting or otherwise interfering with any of the seams of the ball Scratching the surface of the ball with finger or thumb nails or any implement
The umpires shall use their judgement to apply the principle that actions taken to maintain or enhance the condition of the ball, provided no artificial substances are used, shall be permitted. Any actions taken with the purpose of damaging the condition of the ball or accelerating the deterioration of the condition of the ball shall not be permitted.
ODI playing conditions
The committee made the following recommendations:
Glue on pitches
The committee recommended that the use of adhesives in the preparation of pitches for international matches should be discontinued.
Referrals to TV umpire
The committee recommended the maintenance of the current regulations, which allow umpires to consult with TV officials on the subject of clean catches only if both on-field umpires are unsighted.
The committee also decided against recommending a trial of the use of player appeals to the TV umpire at this year's Twenty20 World Championships; instead it suggested that the system be trialed in as many countries as possible (it is currently being used in one domestic competition in the UK) so that further evidence on its effectiveness or otherwise can be obtained.
The committee recommended the setting up of a task force with an independent chairman to look at how best to take international umpiring to the next level.
The task force's remit would include deciding how best to structure the International and Elite Panels; looking at how support structures for umpires can be financed and put in place; umpires' remuneration; and whether or not it is appropriate for umpires to be able to stand in Tests and ICC events where their home country/Member is involved.
The committee did not support the return of Zimbabwe to Test cricket until such time as the team demonstrates its ability to perform at a standard that does not risk undermining the integrity of Test cricket.
In order to be able to judge when Zimbabwe's performance merits a return to Test cricket, the committee felt the team first needed to continue in its current practice of playing a number of representative four-day matches. The committee encouraged the scheduling of such matches against ICC Full Member A teams and Associates with, for example, the inclusion of Zimbabwe in the next ICC Intercontinental Cup.
Volume of cricket
The committee expressed concern about the congestion in the international calendar and, in particular, the addition of many ODIs which, it felt, may have a severe impact on the quality, intensity and standard of international cricket and may result in injuries to players and a dearth of fast bowlers.
The new structure of the ICC CC is designed to be representative of all interests in the modern game and replaces the previous committee which was made up of the nominated representatives from each of the Full Members (boards and players) and leading Associates.
The ICC board, which previously approved the recommendation of the CEC to amend the structure of the ICC CC, approved the personnel set to sit on it at its meeting in Cape Town in March.
The ICC Cricket Committee (and the interests from which its members are drawn) is made up of the following people:
Chairman - Sunil Gavaskar (former India captain and opening batsman and ICC Cricket World Cup winner in 1983)
Past players (2) - Ian Bishop (former West Indies fast bowler) and Mark Taylor (ex-Australia captain)
Representatives of current players (2) - Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka captain; Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman, was the original nominee for this position but he is unavailable due to commitments playing county cricket in the UK) and Tim May (ex-Australia off-spinner, ICC Cricket World Cup winner in 1987 and now Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations)
Full Member team coach representative (1) - Tom Moody (former Sri Lanka coach)
Member Board representative (1) - Duleep Mendis (former Sri Lanka captain and now SLC Chief Executive)
Umpires' representative (1) - Simon Taufel (member of the Emirates Elite Panel and named Umpire of the Year three times in a row at the ICC Awards)
Referees' representative (1) - Ranjan Madugalle (ICC chief match referee and former Sri Lanka captain)
Marylebone Cricket Club representative (1) - Keith Bradshaw (took over as the MCC's Secretary and Chief Executive in October 2006 in succession to Roger Knight; former first-class cricketer for Tasmania in Australia. MCC is the custodian of the Laws of Cricket)
Statistician (1) - David Kendix (a statistician/scorer and the man responsible for the creation and development of the LG ICC Test and ODI Championships and nominated by the ICC to sit on the committee)
Media (1) - Michael Holding (former West Indies fast bowler and now part of the commentary team for Sky Sports in the UK)
Associate representative (1) - Craig Wright (former Scotland captain)