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ICC takes major decision on Sri Lanka Cricket’s suspension, introduction of stop clock in men’s white-ball cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board met today and confirmed the terms of the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)

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Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board in a meeting on Monday decided on the introduction of stop clocks on a trial basis in men’s ODI, and T20I cricket from December 2023 for regulation of time taken between overs and also took a major decision on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) suspension.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board met today and confirmed the terms of the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC),” said a statement from ICC.

After hearing representation from SLC, the ICC Board decided that Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally both in bilateral cricket and ICC events after being suspended recently for breaching its obligations as a Member in particular the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and without government interference.

However, funding to SLC will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board confirmed Sri Lanka will no longer host the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, which will now be held in South Africa.

SLC was suspended by ICC following a political slugfest in SL after the introduction of an interim committee led by Arjun Ranatunga by the Sri Lanka Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, who also suspended the entire SLC board following a heavy loss to India in the Cricket World Cup and a disappointing tournament overall, which saw them win only two matches out of nine and also miss out on ICC Champions Trophy 2025 slot.

Following the introduction of committee, SLC and the sports minister were at war in various aspects. The sports minister Ranasinghe vowed to fight a stay order given by the Sri Lankan court, which removed the interim committee appointed by the minister to replace the SLC. The board was essentially reinstated and so were the sacked board officials.

The Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) also agreed to introduce a stop clock on a trial basis in men’s ODI and T20I cricket from December 2023 to April 2024. The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken between overs. If the bowling team is not ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed, a 5-run penalty will be imposed the third time it happens in an innings.

CEC endorsed a plan to accelerate the development of female match officials which includes equalising match day pay for ICC umpires across men’s and women’s cricket and ensuring there is one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series from January 2024.

Changes to the pitch and outfield monitoring regulations were also approved, including a simplification of the criteria against which a pitch is assessed and an increase in the threshold for when a venue could have its international status removed from five demerit points to six demerit points over a five-year period.

The ICC Board also approved new gender eligibility regulations for the international game following a 9-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders. The new policy is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion, and this means any male-to-female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.

The review, which was led by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket, whilst gender eligibility at the domestic level is a matter for each individual member board, which may be impacted by local legislation. The regulations will be reviewed within two years.

ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and is founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review. Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”

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