The ICC has suspended Zimbabwe Cricket as its full member with immediate effect. The apex body took the decision during its annual meeting in London on Thursday. The International body decided that Zimbabwe Cricket was in breach of Article 2.4 (c) and (d) of the ICC Constitution. During the meeting, the ICC decided that Zimbabwe had ‘failed to fulfill their obligation to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its administration for cricket’.
In June this year, the Zimbabwe government had intervened in the functioning of the cricket body’s administration. The government’s sports and recreation commission suspended the entire cricket board and appointed an interim committee. As per rules, the ICC does not allow political interference in its members.
Due to the suspension, ICC’s funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen. In another blow, any representative team from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events. As a result of the suspension, Zimbabwe’s participation in October’s Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier is in serious doubts. The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket board be reinstated to the office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October Board meeting.
ICC’s statement on the suspension
ICC chairman Shashank Manohar highlighted the importance of not allowing government’s interference in the cricket body.
“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” Manohar was quoted as saying by the ICC website. “What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked. The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC Constitution.”
In another major decision, the ICC also talked about the possibility of introducing concussion replacements. The new rule will be introduced following successful trials in domestic cricket. The change will come into effect from 1 August. As a result, the new system will be introduced during the upcoming Ashes.
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