International Cricket Council (ICC)

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The International Cricket Council (ICC), the international governing body of cricket, was originally set up as Imperial Cricket Conference on 15th June, 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa.  ICC, has currently 106 countries.

History of International Cricket Council

On 30th November, 1907 Abe Baily, the then president of the South African Cricket Association, through a letter to the then secretary of MCC (Melbourne Cricket Club), FE Lacey, suggested the formation of an ‘Imperial Cricket Board’. In the letter he proposed that Board’s function would be to frame a set of rules and regulations to supervise international matches involving England, Australia and South Africa. He also expressed his wish to promote a Triangular Test series between the three countries in England in 1909. England favoured the idea of the Triangular Tournament but Australia rejected it. However, Baily without being deterred by this refusal, continued his lobbying with both MCC and Australia.

It was on 15th June 1909 all three countries met for the first time under the chairmanship of the Earl of Chesterfield, the then president of MCC, where they agree to hold the Triangular Test Tournament. After one month a second meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Lord Harris, in which the constitution of Imperial Cricket Conference was in principal decided and its rules for governing the cricket between these three countries were framed.

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Imperial Cricket Council: 1926 – 1963

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In 1926 in the meeting of ICC (International Cricket Conference) the delegates of India, New Zealand and West Indies were invited to attend. In the same year in its second meeting at oval it was decided that the membership of the ICC should include ‘governing bodies of cricket in countries within the Empire to which cricket to which cricket teams are sent, or which send teams to England’. This meeting historically created three Test playing countries: West Indies, New Zealand and India. West Indies played its first test in 1928; New Zealand in 1929 – 30 and India in 1932.

From now on the ICC met on almost annual basis where the main pursuit of the meeting was to set out itinerary for the future test tours, check the fitness of the players and promote the use of turf pitches as against matting ones. The ICC members also discussed the possible law changes and the enlargement of the wickets.

Inclusion of Pakistan to the International Cricket Council on 28 July 1952 was the next important event, and Pakistan played its first test in October in the same year. South Africa withdrew from the common wealth in May 1961.

International cricket Conference : 1964 – 1986

In July 1965, in its annual meeting, Imperial cricket conference changed its name to International Cricket Conference (ICC) and Pakistan’s suggestion, which it made in 1964, was acted upon that resulted in the inclusion of USA, Ceylon and Fiji as Associate members that was a new kind of membership. The Netherlands, Bermuda, Denmark and East Africa became Associated in 1966. At the same meeting the term “throw” was redefined. However, the basic rules of ICC were amended in 1969.

The idea of holding a World cup was first conceived in 1971 by the Conference; and in the same year the system of voting was amended with full members (Test playing nations) having two votes each and Associates (Non-Test playing nations), one. In 1973 it was planned to held a World Cup ( 60 overs – per – side) in England during 1975 in which, apart from six Test laying countries, East Africa and Sri Lanka was invited to participate.

New Associate members were routinely and regularly added – Singapore, Argentina and Israel in 1974; in 1974 West Africa and in 1977 Bangladesh. Papua – Guinea became Associate in 1978; however, South Africa’s application to rejoin was refused. In July 1981, Sri Lanka got the status of full membership and played their first Test match in February 1982.

A third category of membership was sanctioned in 1984. It was named ‘Affiliate’. Italy became the first country to join this category; in 1985 Switzerland joined and Bahamas and France in 1987, in 1988 Nepal.

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International Cricket Council : 1989 till Date

In July 1988, ICC changed its name to International Cricket Council (ICC). In this year the practice of the president of MCC automatically undertaking the chairmanship of ICC came to an end. The newly – made organization now could impose binding decisions on member which earlier it could, as a recommendatory body, could not do.

In 1993 the post of Chief Executive of International Cricket Council was created; on this position Davis Richards of the Australian Cricket Board was appointed.  In July 1993, Sir Clyde Walcott from Barbados became the first non-British chairman of the ICC.

Due to the availability of new technology, Umpires in 1993, got the chance to refer doubtful decisions, in Test matches, to the third umpire equipped with video playback facilities. In 1996 cameras were allowed to decide whether a ball had crossed the boundary. In 1997, it was decided by the ICC that third umpire could be consulted to decide the cleanness of catches. In the same year the famous Duckworth – Lewis method of adjusting targets in rain–affected matches was tried by ICC in ODI.

In 1997, ICC transformed into an incorporated body with a President whose appointment was to be made by a member country that could nominate an individual to serve as the President for a term of three years. As India was selected for the work, Jagmohan Dalmia became the first man to hold the post, with the policy and direction of ICC vested in an executive board consisting of representatives of all the Test- Playing countries plus three Associate members. Committees covering cricket, development and finance were to report to the board.

In April 1999, as matters relating to match – fixing and betting by players and other officials had appeared at a big scale, a Code of Conduct Commission under Lord Griffiths was formed to investigate the rumours. Immediately after that an anti-corruption unit under Sir Paul Condon who was the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in England.

In 2002, a full-time panel of eight elite umpires, to stand in all Test matches, was created. A new ICC International Cup was inaugurated, in March 2004, for major Associate members and the matches were granted first –class status.

ICC, in August 2005, changed its headquarters to Dubai from Lord. From then till now ICC continues to deal such matters as match – fixing, player conduct, the use of floodlights and the challenge of balancing the three formats of the game. ICC has strived to remain to the purpose penned down in its mission statement that reads “As a leading global sport, cricket will captivate and inspire people of every age, gender, background and ability while building bridges between continents, countries and communities”.

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Centenary Year of ICC

Year 2009, was celebrated as the ICC centenary years. The event was taken up as an opportunity to glance back at 100 wonderful years of cricket and to honour the legends that had shaped the game and those who selflessly dedicated their lives in nurturing the next generation. ICC celebrated the sport through a range of activities consisting of: Celebrating 1000 volunteers across the globe through an ICC Centenary medal; recognition of cricket’s heritage through an ICC cricket Hall of Fame; catch the Spirit events; and the holding of great cricket events comprising the ICC World Twenty 20, 2009, the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Women’s World Cup.

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