Scrapping of boundary count rules and other takeaways from ICC Board Meeting
International Cricket Council (ICC) held its board meeting in Dubai recently from October 12-14, 2019. A number of decisions and conclusions were achieved. Arguably, the decision that made the headlines in the cricketing world was the scrapping of a boundary count rule in the semi-finals and finals of the ICC events in case of a super-over tie to determine the winner.
According to the new rules, after the contest (applicable to semi-finals and finals) is tied at the end of scheduled overs, the Super Over will be repeated until one team has more runs than the other. In group stages, if the Super Over is tied, the match will be tied.
This is a welcome change after what transpired in the 2019 ODI World Cup final when the contest between England and New Zealand ended in a tie and the following super over was also tied.
England were then declared winners of the match and the world champions as they hit more boundaries than New Zealand. This boundary count ‘tie-breaker’ was criticised as well as mocked by prominent cricketers and the experts alike. By eliminating the boundary count rule, the ICC has now rectified an error.
Apart from this, the ICC Board meeting also took other notable decisions. Prominent among them was the reinstatement of Zimbabwe into the ICC Board. It may be recalled that Zimbabwe were suspended in July 2019 following government interference in the running of the Board.
Zimbabwe will now be able to take up their place in the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in January and the ICC Super League later in 2020. Nepal has also been reinstated on a conditional basis following their 2016 suspension for breach of the ICC regulations which prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.
Developing women’s cricket also featured in the ICC meeting and a commendable decision was taken to increase the prize money for ICC women’s events by $2.6 million. According to media release by the ICC, “For the event in Australia next year the winners and runners up will now receive $1 million and $500,000 respectively; five times the amount on offer in 2018.
An overall 320% increase in the prize pot for 2020 (compared to 2018) will see every single one of the 10 competing teams receive significantly more as part of ongoing efforts to drive improved standards throughout the game and not just rewarding the top end. There will also be a substantial increase in the money available for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 with the prize pot increasing to $3.5m from $2m in 2017”.
The ICC also decided that that the eight-year cycle commencing in 2023 will comprise eight Men’s events, eight Women’s events, four Men’s U19 events and four Women’s U19 events.
The ICC Board also approved a $30.5 million funding allocation for Associate Members for 2020; a 12% like for like increase on 2019. The money, which will be distributed according to the Associate Member scorecard competition and grant model, will support all aspects of the development of the game in 92 countries focusing on participation and improving the competitiveness of international cricket.