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ICC awards international status to all T20I matches, scraps Champions Trophy 2021

KOLKATA: The International Cricket Council on Thursday gave the green light to award international status to all Twenty20 matches between members along with plans to introduce global rankings in the format.

The move across both men’s and women’s cricket, is part of the wider strategic aim of using the T20 format to globalise the game. New minimum standards will be introduced making it as easier to play international cricket in a sustainable and affordable way.

All women’s teams will be awarded T20I status on July 1, whilst all men’s teams will be awarded T20I status on January 1, 2019 following the cut-off point for qualification to the ICC World T20 2020.

The rankings for women and men will be introduced in October 2018 and May 2019 respectively. The decision was made on the final day of a week of ICC meetings in Kolkata.

Move toward stricter sanctions towards ball-tampering 

The ICC Code of Conduct review was also discussed with both the ICC Board and member chief executives united in their commitment to address player behaviour.

There was clear direction to move towards stricter and heavier sanctions for ball tampering and other offences which were indicative of a lack of respect, this would include abusive language, send-offs and dissent to an umpire’s decision along with the creation of a culture of respect that embodies the spirit of cricket on and off the field of play.

Champions Trophy 2021 scrapped, replaced by World T20 

ICC members signed a new Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-2023 that introduces a World Test Championship and an additional ICC World T20 event in place of the Champions Trophy in 2021.

This provides opportunities for 16 teams to compete at a global level with a sub-regional, regional and global qualification process every two years, giving more regular cricket to more members.

The final structure of the FTP (19-23), which received unanimous backing, includes ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and 2023, ICC World T20 in 2020 and 2021, ICC World Test Championship final in 2021 and 2023, World Test Championship Cycle 1 from 2019-2021 and Cycle 2 from 2021-2023, ICC Cricket World Cup Qualification League between 2020-2022 apart from all other bilateral series.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said:  “We are particularly pleased with the unanimous agreement to award all T20 bilateral games international status and the move to create a global ranking system for T20Is.

“We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we’ll do this and removing restrictions and having all members ranked is a positive step forward.

“We have already introduced a regional qualification pathway for the ICC World T20 in 2020 which is now underway and we will continue to evolve our qualification structures across all three formats to enable Members to play regular cricket and grow the game.”

Richardson added: “The message from everyone gathered in Kolkata was loud and clear – we must act to create a culture of respect that protects the integrity of the sport. We all have a responsibility to the game and its fans and the strength of feeling around the board table today means we have a unique opportunity to improve the behavior and culture across cricket.

“We are currently in the process of confirming the individuals to support us on this review and they will meet alongside the Cricket Committee in May and make recommendations to the Board in June.”

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said: “I would like to commend our Members on reaching agreement on the FTP which means the ICC World Test Championship and ODI league are now cemented into the calendar. Extending international status for all T20 bilateral games and creating a global rankings table is a positive step forward in growing cricket around the world using the shortest format of our game.

“The code of conduct review is a crucial piece of work and my fellow board directors and I are committed to seeing an improvement in player behavior and ensuring a culture of respect across our sport. We will consider tougher sanctions as we work to create a culture of respect.”

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