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2011 ICC Recommendations - 7 Key ICC Decisions You Need To Know About

The Mad Chatter - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat The big wigs of world cricket are currently meeting in Hong Kong at their annual conference. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) meeting kicked off the ICC Annual Conference week and there have been some big decisions made that will affect the future of cricket. We haven't heard much about these decisions in the media for some reason....

Some of the ICC decisions are positive and some are just simply stupid. I thought I'd provide a quick summary for cricket fans so you can make your own mind up on whether cricket will be better off after the ICC annual meeting.

Decision 1: Decision Review System

The CEC unanimously recommended universal standards for the usage of technology in decision-making (Decision Review System) in all Test matches and One-Day Internationals subject to availability and commercial considerations. The agreed standards will include infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices. So I guess that means Channel 9's and former Aussie cricket captain Mark Taylor's favourite toy 'Schnicko' is here to stay!! I think this is a very sensible decision by the ICC and long over-due. Having agreed standards for referring decisions is good for the umpires, good for the players and good for the fans. Everyone will be on the same page for once and we wont have the situation where players are asking umpires to refer things when they can't. It is down right stupid to have different technologies one week to another so standards will work to improve the game.

So what about Hawk-Eye you ask?? Well the CEC also agreed that further independent and expert research will be carried out into ball-tracking technology and its accuracy and reliability. The continued use of ball-tracking technology as a decision-making aid will depend on bilateral agreement between the participating ICC Members. I also applaud this decision. It means the technology wont be ratified by the ICC until further expert and independent, and I mean independent, research shows ball-tracking is reilable. However, if two teams want to use Hawk-Eye than they just need to agree to it. I'm all for this. But until the research is finalised, let's agree to other common standards with audio and infra-red cameras. The ICC also agreed that a referral system should not be used in Twenty20 matches at this point in time. Again I agree with this as it would only slow down that form of the game when the fans and players want it to be fast-paced.

Decision 2: Runners

The CEC agreed to abolish runners in international cricket. I think this is a great decision because the rule has been abused for so long and has been argued over since Jesus played for the Bethlehem U/10s. How many times have we seen blokes go down  with mystery cramps and unable to run but manage perfectly to stay upright at the crease and play shots!! If a batsmen suffers a genuine injury, that is too bad. I reckon the batsmen should just tee up and try and hit sixes. In all seriousness though, maybe they could add a rule where if a batsmen is injured he can 'retire hurt' temporarily for say '30mins' to have the injury treated by the team physio. If he can't come back after this temporary break it's too bad and the innings goes on. If you happen to be the last batsmen then bad luck - it's all over.

I bet the fat mars-bar eater, Arjuna Ranatunga and plenty of blokes playing Z Grade around the world that love a beer and the smokes are not happy with this news. Who is Ian Healy meant to make fun of now??

Decision 3: Over Rates, Balls and Obstructions

The CEC, like the ICC Cricket Committee and every other cricket lover, was concerned at the slow over-rates in Test match cricket and agreed on stricter sanctions against captains for over-rate breaches. A captain will now be suspended for two over-rate breaches in a 12-month period in any one format of the game rather than the current position which is three breaches prior to suspension. Hear hear!! Great decision!! This one is a no-brainer.

Other ICC Cricket Committee recommendations including the continued research into the use of different colour balls to facilitate day/night Test matches. I'm not convinced on this one but happy to have the ICC explore the options of day/night Test matches. At least if they hold them at night you might get a full strength beer for once because it's a Test match!!

Another directive approved is that batsmen can be given out for obstructing the field if they change their direction when running between the wicket to block a run-out chance. In my opinion this is a bit harsh. If the batsmen can change direction while running, put pressure on a fieldsman without collision why should he be given out?? That is a skill in it's own right. The batsmen has to actually run further between the wickets doing this so that is a disadvanatge to him, and more importantly an advantage to the fielding team. I'm not convinced this is the right call but it will stop some of those nasty collisions between batsmen and the bowler or another fielder. Why not outlaw collisions? That is what causes injuries and not obstructions!!

Decision 4: Reliance on ICC Rankings and T20 Rankings

The CEC gave its unanimous support to the present Reliance ICC Rankings system following a presentation by statistician David Kendix, who devised and operates the system for the ICC. God only knows how it works but as long as there is only one system being used then I'm happy because it will be used consistently for all nations.

A Twenty20 International rankings table will be created from 1 October 2011. I also support this decision because whether we like it or not, T20 is now a legitimate form of the game so it should have international rankings too.

Decision 5: More teams in the World Cup

Now this is what I call a backflip!! The ICC previously stated that only the ten member nations would play in the upcoming 2015 World Cup. In April 2011, the ICC agreed that only the full members would participate in 2015 and that all members would be given an opportunity to participate in the 2019 World Cup through a qualification process. This means teams like Ireland and Canada would miss out on the 2015 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The ICC has now changed its mind and finally have seen the  light. Granted it was only the ten full member nations that made the play-offs in the last World Cup but this is great news for World Cricket to have more teams playing in these big tournaments.

I bet England and Bangladesh are the only teams unhappy to hear that Ireland will be there in 2015!! Go the Green Machine!!

Decision 6: Australia to play back to back Ashes in 2013 thanks to the Future Tours Program agreement

The ICC have had a hell of a time trying to get the scheduling right for 2012-2020 in their latest Future Tours Program. I don't envy them - image the size of the bloody spreasheet needed to sort this one out!! However, it does seem that with international teams playing different number of international matches that it is unfair and will affect the rankings.

Australia will tour England during the English summer of 2013 and will then do it all again at home in the Australian summer.The back-to-back Ashes schedule is a result of Australia hosting the World Cup in 2015, when the return Ashes would normally be played. I think this is stupid but I cannot seem to find an alternative so therefore I won't carry-on too much about it. What are your thoughts on back-to-back Ashes campaigns??

The Aussies will only play 92 Test matches from 2012-2020 compared to England 99, India 90, Sri Lanka 76, South Africa 74, West Indies and New Zealand 66, Pakistan 65, Bangladesh 4 and Zimbabwe 41. So you can see that there is a big difference between who is playing what but amazingly it is the who is playing who that I'm cranky about!! I think the ICC have listened too much to Indian influences.

Australia has only four Test matches scheduled against the world number one team, India. Four matches in nine years?? Come on Aussie, come on - that's a joke!! England are playing two separate five Test match series in that time. So while Australia plays India four times, England will have ten matches against them. This will be the only two times a five Test match series will be played by any nations outside of the Ashes. I know what this will do to the English rankings....Send them sky high while the Aussies are off playing lower ranked teams.

The biggest problem with the scheduling of 'official ICC' matches is the need to allow time for a two-week window in September for the Champions League Twenty20 each year and leave a gap for an unofficial IPL window in April and May, making it possible for players from most nations to participate in the money earning events. So again, think of the spreadsheet - not a pretty task trying to marry all of this together but I am spewing that Australia isn't playing as many Test matches as England and that we're not playing more of the top nations.

Decision 7: Run out the non-striker

The ICC have agreed that if the non-striker is 'backing-up' too far or unfairly, that he can now be run-out. You beauty - this is a great call to bring this back in as too many batsmen are taking off early!!

This has be known around the backyards and suburban grounds in Australia as 'mankad' for years and I'm glad to see it back. If a non-striker is backing-up too far, he should be able to be run out by the bowler. The run-out known as the 'Mankad' was named after Indian left armer Vinoo Mankad after he trapped Aussie Bill Brown twice in the 1947/48 series in Australia for leaving early. This type of dismissal has always been controversial so I'm glad the ICC has made a decision and agreed to bring it back. At least now we all know what the story is with the 'mankad' and next time I'm running into to bowl, I'll be keeping an eye on the non-striker for sure!!

So there you have it. Seven new decisions by the ICC that will change cricket forever. On the whole, I think they are sensible decisions but the proof will be in the pudding and there will be plenty of controversies to come with the implementation of these. The test match schedule is a big concern because it does seem unfair to Australia.

Let me know what you think of the ICC decisions. You can leave a comment below and let me know what you think and you can 'Share' this with any of your cricket loving mates. They'll need to know this too.

Take it easy.

The Mad Chatter

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