ICC Implements Groundbreaking Changes in Cricket Regulations, Takes Major Decision on Sri Lanka Cricket

International Cricket Council, ICC

In a landmark decision, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced several significant changes that will reshape the landscape of international cricket. The decision, made during a board meeting held in Dubai on November 21, 2023, includes the introduction of stop clocks in men’s ODIs and T20Is, a major decision regarding the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and various other crucial amendments.

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First and foremost, the ICC has given the green light to the trial introduction of stopclocks in men’s ODI and T20I cricket. This innovative move aims to regulate the time taken between overs, ensuring a more efficient and timely flow of the game. If the bowling team fails to commence the next over within 60 seconds of the previous one’s completion, a 5-run penalty will be imposed after the third occurrence in an innings.

On the subject of Sri Lanka Cricket’s suspension, the ICC Board, after hearing representations from SLC, has decided that Sri Lanka can continue to participate in international cricket, both in bilateral series and ICC events. However, the funding to SLC will now be controlled by the ICC, marking a significant shift in financial management. Additionally, Sri Lanka has lost the hosting rights for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, with the tournament relocating to South Africa.

The suspension of SLC came in the wake of a political upheaval in Sri Lanka, triggered by the appointment of an interim committee led by Arjun Ranatunga. The Sports Minister, Roshan Ranasinghe, had suspended the entire SLC board following a disappointing Cricket World Cup performance. The subsequent reinstatement of the board and its officials, following a court order, added complexity to the situation.

In a bid to promote gender inclusivity and development in cricket, the Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) has decided to accelerate the development of female match officials. This initiative includes equalizing matchday pay for ICC umpires across men’s and women’s cricket, effective from January 2024. Furthermore, there will be one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series starting from the same date.

The ICC Board has also approved changes to pitch and outfield monitoring regulations, simplifying the criteria for pitch assessment and increasing the threshold for a venue to lose its international status from five demerit points to six over a five-year period.

In a move emphasizing the protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness, and inclusion, the ICC has introduced new gender eligibility regulations. Male-to-female participants who have undergone any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in international women’s cricket, irrespective of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undergone. The regulations will be subject to review within two years.

ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice expressed that these changes are grounded in science and aligned with core principles. He emphasized the importance of inclusivity while prioritizing the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.