Dubai:International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday gave a stamp of approval to the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) while refusing to recognise the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Announcing a host of decisions at the end of two-day meeting of the ICC Executive Board, President-elect David Morgan said IPL was official cricket just like the County Championship in England whereas ICL was unofficial as it was not approved by the BCCI.
"Since ICL is not approved by BCCI, it is unofficial cricket," he said.
Morgan said the Executive Board agreed that the IPL was a good concept and although the introduction of privately owned franchises introduced risks to the game, it also provided possible benefits.
The Executive Board, however, stressed that "the concept of nation-versus-nation cricket was the life blood of Members and this must always be given the highest possible priority."
The Board made it clear that bilateral commitments of Members would take precedence over IPL fixtures and BCCI, as owners of IPL, will have to agree to certain guidelines.
"In order to maintain that position (of priority), the ICC Board and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed that the BCCI, as the owner of IPL, would sign a standard-form contract with all ICC Members," Morgan said.
"Each ICC Member will have an unfettered right in its absolute discretion to lodge an objection to a player from its country playing in the IPL, and this objection can be lodged up to two years after that player's retirement.
"All such objections will be respected by the IPL and its various franchises and the player in question will not be selected to play."
IPL's code of conduct
The ICC also asked IPL to introduce a code of conduct, an anti-corruption code and an anti-doping code that comply with ICC regulations.
Morgan clarified that no request has been made by the IPL or BCCI to adjust the Future Tours Programme to accommodate IPL matches.
"The ICC will monitor IPL's progress over the next few years and work with the BCCI to ensure that it works in harmony with international cricket," he said.
Morgan also made the formal announcement that South African Imtiaz Patel was ICC's preferred candidate for the position of Chief Executive.
"As announced yesterday the ICC Board has selected South African Imtiaz Patel as its preferred candidate for the position of Chief Executive. Pending negotiations with Patel it is hoped that he will take over from Malcolm Speed during the ICC's annual conference at the end of June," he said.
Regarding the 2011 World Cup which will be jointly hosted by Pakistan, India Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Board decided upon a 14-team format and to significantly shorten the duration of the mega event than the last one in the West Indies.
The 10 Full Members qualify automatically while the remaining four places going to the semi-finalists of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will take place in Dubai next year.
The ICC Board also re-iterated that "as of now" the Champions Trophy will be held in Pakistan as scheduled earlier and a full independent security assessment of the situation there will be conducted in June.
"As it stands, the event will go ahead in Pakistan as planned from September 11 to 28 in three venues, which will be finalised in due course," Morgan said.
A detailed forensic report produced by KPMG South Africa and KPMG Zimbabwe regarding the 2005-06 accounts of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) was considered by the ICC Audit Committee which reported to the ICC Executive Board.
In its review of the ICC Audit Committee report, the ICC Board accepted that the KPMG report had found no evidence of criminality and that no individuals had gained financially.
The Board, however, noted that the report highlighted serious financial irregularities. ZC reported to the ICC Board that it had taken substantial remedial action to correct these irregularities and would continue to do so.
Increased used of technology
The Executive Board also gave green signal to the trialling of the increased use of technology by umpires during the Test series between England and South Africa this year subject to the consent of the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket South Africa.
The trial will involve a system whereby players can request that umpiring decisions be reviewed by the TV umpire.
The ICC Cricket Committee will be charged with determining and finalising the playing conditions for the trial subject to the proviso that the method of review should incorporate the principle of consultation with, rather than referral to, the TV umpire.
The Board also welcomed Sri Lanka's world cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga to his first meeting as an ICC Director.
Ranatunga is the newly appointed chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket and before the meeting started he received his ICC Director's tie from President Ray Mali.