Sports

Neutral umpires to return; Jay Shah part of committee

Dubai, April 10 (UNI): The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday acknowledged the performance of home umpires, saying their presence did not affect the games.

The home umpires officiated matches between July 2020 to February 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ICC Committee said the “use of home umpires had also led to 12 members of the International Panel umpires making their Test match debut”.

However, in line with a previous recommendation from the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee, the board agreed that “more neutral match officials should be utilised as travel restrictions are lifted while building on the success of the use of home umpires”. From the next season, one neutral on-field umpire, neutral referee and neutral TV umpire will be appointed in Test matches along with home team’s elite panel umpire. In white-ball cricket, the ICC’s Elite and Emirates panel home umpires with continue doing the job.

The world cricket governing body also received an update from the Afghanistan Working Group which recommended Mirwais Ashraf as the ACB’s appointed representative to the Board. The ACB confirmed their continued commitment to developing women’s cricket and will submit a full action plan and budget to do so to the Working Group which will continue to monitor the situation and receive regular updates on its progress.

Moreover, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has been named in the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee as a Member Board representative. Former Sri Lanka cricketer Mahela Jayawardene has been reappointed as Past Player representative. New Zealand men’s coach Gary Stead, ICC Elite Panel umpire Joel Wilson and MCC representative Jamie Cox complete the committee.

Following the recent decision to expand the ICC Women’s Championship to ten teams, the ICC Board approved a recommendation that ODI status be extended to a number of Associate Member women’s teams to enable them to progress to global qualifying events based on ODI rankings.

Meanwhile, South Africa will host the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in January with 16 nations playing 41 matches. Several qualification pathways for men’s and women’s world events were also confirmed at the board meeting.

For the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, 12 teams will qualifying automatically for the event. The top eight teams from the 2022 event will be joined by the two host members, West Indies and USA plus the next highest ranked teams on the rankings table as of November 14, 2022.

If West Indies finish in the top eight in Australia later this year, three teams will progress based on rankings and if outside the top eight two teams will qualify from the rankings table. The remaining eight spots will be decided through a regional qualification process with Africa, Asia and Europe each qualifying two teams and Americas and EAP one each.

For the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024, eight teams will gain automatic qualification into the event, comprising the top three teams from each group of the 2023 event plus host (if not in the six) and next highest ranked teams on the rankings table at a pre-determined date.

The remaining two teams will be identified through the Women’s T20 World Cup global qualifier. An eight-team ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was also confirmed. The yet to be determined host of the event will automatically qualify along with the next five highest placed teams at the end of the 2022-25 ICC Women’s Championship (IWC). The remaining two teams will be identified through a global qualifying event between the four bottom-placed teams in the IWC plus an additional two teams from the ODI rankings.

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