Munish Arora, the Singapore captain, has said the outcome of the ICC enquiry into the incidents that marred the finish of the World Cricket League Division Five game between Nepal and USA in Kirtipur was a major setback to cricket in his country. The Singapore Cricket Association had claimed the crowd disturbance and the consequent revised target formulated by the technical committee had resulted in a back-door entry for Nepal into Division Four at Singapore's expense.
The inquiry, conducted by top ICC officials Dave Richardson, David Becker and Ravi Sawani, ruled against SCA's claims earlier this month. "The damage has been done enough for cricket in Singapore," Arora told Cricinfo. "The Singapore team is badly hurt by the decision. The way the team performed in Division Five, there was no doubt we could possibly advance further in ICC tournaments but the decision has really put our cricket back by a few years."
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 ICC, in its enquiry report, 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.
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.