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ICC clarifies proposed rule change

The International Cricket Council has moved to clarify its intentions behind a proposed change to ICC membership criteria.

In a letter sent to Associate and Affiliate members by Tim Anderson, the head of global development, the game’s governing body cites an “erroneous article on Cricinfo” as the reason for providing clarity over the change to rule 3.1, which would change the requirement that a member prove it is “the sole recognised governing body for cricket in the country.”

Instead, the ICC proposes that Associate Members must satisfy the ICC that they are “the governing body responsible for administration, management and development of cricket in the country”.

The Cricinfo report (ICC allows for rival Associate boards — January 10), which was subsequently changed yesterday morning, had suggested that the move opened the door for twin governing bodies to exist in countries such as America where there is no “recognition and support from either the National Government agency/department responsible for sport in the relevant country, or the relevant National Olympic Committee.”

This would have been especially relevant in the United States where a power struggle is brewing between the officially recognised United States of America Cricket Association and the up and coming American Cricket Federation.

Anderson’s letter re-emphasises that the ICC’s first test of membership is a governing body’s recognition by its government or Olympic Association, a test, he writes, that is “met by the large majority of Associate and Affiliate members.

“The proposed wording changes are therefore aimed at improving the assessment process in circumstances where an existing member, or a new member, does not have such recognition and support.”

According to the ICC’s original proposals, which were sent out on January 6, it was felt the word “sole” could create some legal difficulties for members where the “sole governing body could be challenged if an alternative body existed in the same jurisdiction and sought also to claim governing body status.”

The ICC felt that it should be granted more discretion in deciding rival claims to be a country’s governing body. The proposal does make it clear however that “there can only be one ICC member from any individual country, and in the event of a dispute, the ICC retains absolute discretion to determine which body [if any] to recognise as the sole ICC member in that country.”

Member countries have been asked to vote on the resolution by January 22, before the ICC’s first meeting of the year on January 28.