The ICC will be able to recognise a bowler’s suspension due to an illegal action in a domestic competition, provided the bowler is suspended after being tested by a member country at an ICC-accredited centre, using the governing body’s procedures. This was one of the revisions introduced in its board meeting on Thursday in Dubai, to help the crackdown on illegal actions.
The turnaround time between a bowler being reported and the test results being announced has been reduced to 24 days, compared to the earlier 35-day period. The ICC had fast-tracked the evaluation of suspect action to within seven days during the World Cup. Under the previous system, a bowler who is reported for suspect action had to undergo a test within 21 days.
The revisions, which have been made effective immediately, will further boost the ICC in its crackdown on suspect bowling actions. While the process of identifying suspect actions has been expedited, the reach into domestic cricket could help the ICC monitor bowlers with suspect actions closely. It also offers member boards a chance to identify the gaps between their testing methods and the ICC methods, allowing them to instill corrective measures at an early stage.
The issue of suspect actions has gained momentum over the last one-and-a-half years with the suspension of many high-profile bowlers in international and domestic cricket. Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez were previously reported and subsequently suspended from international cricket, while West Indies offspinner Sunil Narine was disqualified from bowling in the 2014 Champions League T20, after being reported in two successive matches.
Sri Lanka Cricket and the USA Cricket Association came under scrutiny during the board meeting. The ICC has decided to withhold its next financial distribution to SLC pending an investigation into possible government interference in the board. The board supported an ICC governance review committee recommendation that it should write to the sports ministry, “seeking a full and proper explanation of its intervention that prima facie puts SLC in breach of the ICC’s constitution.”
The ICC also felt that the USACA did not comply with its obligations under the ICC membership criteria and constitution, and has appointed a task force to carry out an assessment of the situation. David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, will head the committee and will travel to USA to “meet relevant stakeholders in order to prepare a comprehensive report for further consideration by the ICC Executive Committee and ICC Board at its next meeting.”
The board also accepted Mustafa Kamal’s resignation as ICC president and confirmed that no replacement will be appointed to see out the tenure until the next president takes over. It has also said that Najam Sethi’s appointment as ICC president will be considered at its meeting in Barbados in June. Sethi is slated to take over as ICC president in July.
Peter Nicholson, a former United Nations and International Criminal Court investigator, has been appointed as the new, independent ICC ethics officer.