Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo
The ICC has formally changed the structure of its top-level administrative hierarchy effective 2014, turning the presidency into a ceremonial position with a one-year term and handing over power to the new post of chairman. The annual conference, which ended on Thursday, "agreed to make the necessary amendments" to the ICC and the ICC Development International (IDI) Articles of Association to effect these changes and also remove the role of the ICC vice-president.
The changes - the fourth alteration in the president's role since 1996 - take effect when Alan Isaac's current two-year term as the ICC's last rotational president comes to an end during the ICC conference in June 2014. That's when the ICC will also appoint its first chairman.
These amendments had been agreed to in principle by the ICC's executive board, comprising the heads of the 10 Full Member nations among others, earlier this year.
The debate over the role of the ICC vice-president to go along with Isaac's tenure has been deferred to the executive board meeting in October. It is understood that the prime candidate for the role - Mustafa Kamal of the Bangladesh Cricket Board - will have to outline his plans for a two-year vice-presidency to be considered for the role.
Until now, the executive board comprised chairmen or presidents from each of the 10 Full Members, three elected associate member representatives, the ICC president, who chaired the meeting, the ICC chief executive, the ICC vice-president and on invitation of the president, the ICC's principal advisor.
By the end of the 2014 conference, the ICC and IDI board chairman, a two-year fully paid appointee of the ICC executive board, will chair the board. The newly-redefined ICC president can come into an Executive Board meeting if he so wishes, but neither will he chair the meeting nor will he have a vote.
This sets the stage for the jockeying to be the chairman, with N Srinivasan of the BCCI and the ECB's Giles Clarke widely reckoned to be the leading contenders. The ICC chairman must not be a serving member of any national board. Srinivasan's three-year term as BCCI president ends in September 2014, and Clarke's term as chairman of the ECB ends in 2015, which means they would have to give up those posts before the June 2014 conference.
Among other decisions taken at this week's annual conference, Switzerland was removed as an Affiliate member having been suspended last year for failing to comply with the ICC's membership criteria - it has two rival governing bodies of cricket in the country, neither of which is recognised by the Swiss Olympic committee - and being unable to do so by the 2012 Annual Conference. Russia and Hungary were confirmed as new Affiliate members of the ICC. The ICC now has 106 Members.
The Woolf commiteee recommendations about redefining the associate/ affiliate membership were not discussed or voted upon at the annual conference as those discussions were said to be part of talks between various boards themselves and also at the Executive Board level.