Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, has fulfilled his promise of the governing body adopting a new constitution. The ICC revealed on Thursday that it had "unanimously" adopted an "extensively revised" constitution at the annual conference in London. A radical new governance structure is set to change the way cricket is run and administered.
During the April round of meetings, the ICC Board had already voted 8-2 (Full Members) in favour of carrying out various changes to the governance structure. These included: having just two levels of memberships - Full and Associate - having an independent female director on the ICC Board, increasing the votes on the ICC Board to 17 (12 Full Members + three Associates + independent female director and chairman), creating a new position of deputy chairman - who would chair board meetings in the absence of a chairman - and creating a membership committee that will monitor the status of all members.
The BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket were the only two boards that opposed the governance structure in April. However, negotiations between the boards and the ICC in in the intervening months seems to have resolved the knotty issues.
"The decision [to grant Full Member status to Afghanistan and Ireland] followed the unanimous adoption of an extensively revised constitution for the ICC which, in addition to transforming the membership process through the adoption of new membership criteria, introduced a female Independent Director and a Deputy Chairman and equalised Board voting," the ICC said in a media release at the conclusion of its annual general meeting in London this week.
"Other changes to the constitution include the appointment of a Deputy Chairman, who shall assume the duties of Chairman, Shashank Manohar, when he is unable to fulfil his duties. In addition, a female Independent Director with full voting rights will be recruited to the ICC Board.
"The voting composition of the ICC Board will also change so that every Board Member - including Full Member and Associate Member Directors, as well as the Independent Chairman and Independent Director - will each have equal votes, with a two-thirds majority necessary for a resolution to be approved. In future, the Chairman of the Associate Members (who comprises one of the three Associate Member Directors) will also be required to be independent of any Member Board."
Manohar felt the new constitution was significant because the members had accepted to "improve governance" to benefit them all. "Throughout this process we have shown the strength of a collective and unified approach, and I would like to pay tribute to my Board colleagues who have been so determined to reach consensus," he said. "They have not focused solely on their own country but have ensured cricket around the world benefits."
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo