ICC board meeting in Ahmedabad: SLC suspension, future of ODI cricket among major talking points

The board meeting will be held on Tuesday in Ahmedabad, two days after the 2023 ODI World Cup final.

Tristan Lavalette

SLC suspension expected to take center stage at ICC board meeting CPI via Getty Images

The suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket, the future of ODI cricket and the revival of a high-performance program targeting senior associates and some full members will be on the agenda of the next ICC board meeting in Ahmedabad.

The quarterly meetings, the last of the year, begin on Saturday with various committees ahead of the ICC board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, two days after the 2023 ODI World Cup final. have been effectively finalized, such as the revenue distribution model for the 2024-27 event cycle and cricket’s entry into the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, several talking points remain.

Suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket board of directors

SLC’s suspension last week will dominate the ICC board meeting. The possible conditions of the suspension will be discussed, as well as whether Sri Lanka will continue to host the U-19 Men’s World Cup in January and February.

ICC Vice President Imran Khwaja is likely to be an influential voice as he has been involved for some time in investigating possible political interference. He investigated the matter in May during a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka.

The future of ODI cricket

Two days after the ODI World Cup final, possible discussions over the future of the 50 overs format are on the cards. There will be at least two boards pushing for the revival of the recently scrapped 13-team ODI Super League. With a new qualification pathway already approved for a 14-team men’s ODI World Cup in 2027, the Super League, if it returns, could only do so from 2028.

Zimbabwe, co-hosting the 2027 ODI World Cup along with South Africa and Namibia, is advocating for an analysis to be conducted on the current World Cup to gauge its global popularity.

“This World Cup was held at the same time as the Rugby World Cup, so it would be a good opportunity to compare viewership and measure our global impact as a sport,” said Zimbabwe Cricket president Tavengwa Mukuhlani.

“It seemed like the Rugby World Cup was more popular, especially in countries where both sports are popular. I don’t think the problem is with the ODI format… there are not enough teams in the World Cup, not even 14 are not enough. and there will be no context without the Super League.

“We need ODI cricket, we can’t afford not to have it. It is still a source of income for us and many countries.”

Reactivation of the high performance program

The ICC’s high-performance program is set for a revival, having been scrapped at the end of the last decade after running for 15 years. The program was aimed at major partner nations and included player development pathways and specialized administrative structures to help professionalize those considered close to full member status.

The new programme, in a point of difference, will involve full members Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and possibly others. It has been resurrected as the ICC seeks to establish development programs through funds from its next four-year business cycle. Funding from the program is expected to encourage more matches between these countries, including A tours and women’s cricket matches.

An as yet unspecified amount, taken from the ICC’s general revenues, has been proposed to be divided between these boards. But specific details, including the countries involved and the total funding allocated, will be revealed at the meeting.

Cricket has been included in the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 AFP via Getty Images

Funding of revenue sharing model reserved to create reserves

Some of the funds allocated to members in the new distribution model will be diverted to a retained surplus fund totaling $100 million per year, which will be invested and distributed to members later.

Accrued interest will be distributed according to the member’s contribution in what is seen as a prudent financial measure, with uncertainty over what type of media rights deal will be struck for the 2028-31 cycle. The Full Members will contribute US$88.8 million to this fund – of which the BCCI will contribute US$38.5 million – annually and the Associates US$11.2 million.

But not everyone is satisfied with the agreement. With plans to build a cricket stadium in Dublin, Ireland wants to receive its full allocation of $18 million a year. About $3 million a year of its funding goes into the surplus fund, as do Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

“We need funding to do that (build infrastructure),” Cricket Ireland high performance director Richard Holdsworth said. “Holding what appears to be about $12 million for four years… may require members to make the right decisions as to whether they put money in reserves or spend it all now.

“We have a lot of things to invest in and we have to do it now. We can’t wait four years.”

Cricket at the Olympic Games

After recently returning to the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, T20 cricket was officially confirmed as an Olympic sport for the 2028 Los Angeles Games last month. The board will formalize cricket’s inclusion and there is expected to be a debate on possible classification routes.

Some boards hope that more than six teams per gender can be included in the next Olympic Games after Los Angeles.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth.

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