ICC inquiry stands by result of crowd-marred Nepal game
The ICC has published its report on the investigations into the incidents that marred the finish of the World Cricket Division League Five game between Nepal and USA in Kirtipur. It has found no evidence to support Singapore Cricket Association's (SCA's) claim that Nepal had earned a back-door entry into Division Four following a crowd disturbance, due to the technical committee's revised target that helped them edge ahead of Singapore on net run-rate.
The match was disrupted in the closing stages by the unruly home crowd, with USA set for a facile win that would have brought Nepal below Singapore in the league standings. As it transpired, the 45-minute delay caused by the crowd disturbance meant the target was revised significantly enough to lift Nepal's net run-rate above Singapore's by a slender margin, giving the home side a fortuitous entry into Division Four.
The SCA demanded that ICC looked into the issue, specifically the decision of the technical committee that revised USA's target from 163 off 50 overs, to 157 off 46.
The inquiry, conducted by top ICC officials Dave Richardson, David Becker and Ravi Sawani, ruled against SCA's claims today. However, it made recommendations that the proposed mandatory safety standards being introduced by the ICC security task force considers including sanctions against the home board when the home crowd interrupts a match, particularly when it benefits the home team. The investigation covered all aspects of the controversy including the net run-rate calculations, the reactions of the match officials and the nature of the security-related issues which arose during the match.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, thanked the inquiry panel for their investigations and expressed his sympathy for Singapore, but said that promoting them retrospectively would set a bad precedent. "I am grateful to the inquiry panel for the thorough investigation conducted and it is reassuring to note that the correct processes and playing rules were applied by the event technical committee and match officials.
"It is a most unfortunate outcome for Singapore and there was a suggestion that they should be promoted alongside USA and Nepal. While everyone agrees that this was a regrettable incident and one which we do not want to see repeated, there is no justifiable basis to promote Singapore and such temptation would create a dangerous precedent to the integrity of competition and the playing regulations," Lorgat said.
The Cricket Association of Nepal has already accepted a directive to not host further international cricket at the venue until remedial measures were carried out, including the reconstruction of the boundary wall that was damaged by stone-throwers looking for projectiles to hurl into the ground.