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International Cricket Council (ICC).

Afghanistan
Afghanistan
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ICC Is In Constant Touch With Afghanistan Cricket Board(ACB) Over Taliban Issue

International Cricket Council (ICC) also has an eye on the Taliban matter as the world watches the situation in Afghanistan unfold as armed militants have forcefully taken over the country and entered the capital Kabul. The ICC office in Dubai is in constant touch with the members of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul to “fully understand the impact of changes” happening in the country.

One of the biggest challenges in front of ACB could be the sustenance of women’s cricket in the country — something which has gone from strength to strength in recent times. In 2020, 25 female players were awarded central contracts for the first time, thus clearing the deck for the formation of a national women’s team. Skill-based camps were organized to further the efforts.

 Afghanistan cricketers are safe, the country's board president assured (Reuters Photo)
Afghanistan cricketers are safe, the country’s board president assured (Reuters Photo)

International Cricket Council (ICC) Is In Constant Touch With Afghanistan Cricket Board As Situations Worsen In Afghanistan For Taliban’ Forceful Takeover

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is apprised of the developments in Afghanistan — where the Taliban’s sudden and forceful takeover has sent the country into chaos and misery — and is in touch with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), monitoring the developments in Kabul.

“That was a massive development. We don’t know what now,” said a source in ICC women’s cricket.

ACB acknowledges that being a full member of the ICC, it is “required to have a national women’s team of its own” but there’s a lot of uncertainty around what will come of their efforts in the time to come.

“I have not heard from the ICC on what is happening as far as women’s cricket in Afghanistan,” said Lisa Sthalekar, a member of ICC Women’s Cricket Committee, “but personally I am concerned about what is happening there.”

Afghanistan Cricket Board
Afghanistan Cricket Board. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Despite the cataclysmic geopolitical changes, the country’s cricket community is hopeful of the game’s future.

“Cricket in Afghanistan began from refugee camps and we have come a long way. With very limited resources, we climbed our way up to full membership,” Shafiqullah Stanikzai, former CEO of ACB under whom Afghanistan had attained full membership of the ICC in 2017, told Cricbuzz.

“I hope and pray that cricket in Afghanistan continues to grow. For us, it is beyond a sport, a game. Cricket has given us an identity making the image of Afghans around the world optimistic. Through cricket, we convinced the global community to invest in our talent and in Afghan youth. I hope this continues.”

It was earlier reported that changes are in motion at the top of the hierarchy in cricket too, with Azizullah Fazli set to replace current board chairman Farhan Yousefzai, who is understood to be out of the country.

Afghanistan Focusing On The Pakistan Series: ACB Spokesperson

But a forced change in a board’s administration could attract the attention of the apex board ICC which wants all its boards to be autonomous and free of government interference.

“For the moment we are focusing on the Pakistan series. We are confident it will happen. If it does not, due to reasons not relevant to us, we could advance the dates of Shpageeza Cricket League (the domestic league),” ACB spokesperson Hikmat Hasan said.

“The squad (for the Pakistan series) is already out. The coaches trained the players in Kabul for one month. We are well prepared for the matches in Sri Lanka and the Twenty20 World Cup in UAE. Our head coach Lance Klusener was in Kabul till Eid. We have recruited Shaun Tait as bowling coach and he will be joining the squad in Sri Lanka,” Hikmat further added.

ICC-International Cricket Council , AFP File Photo
ICC-International Cricket Council, AFP File Photo

Cricket will not be a casualty in the wake of drastic political change in Afghanistan, assured country’s cricket board CEO Hamid Shinwari, saying the Taliban “love” and “support” the game.

Speaking from Kabul, Hamid Shinwari also assured that the members of the national team and their families are safe as the Taliban took over the reins of the country. Star players including Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are playing in the UK in the ‘Hundred’ tournament.

Cricket’s rise in the country coincided with the Taliban’s rule between 1996 and 2001 with many Afghan refugees in neighbouring Pakistan picking up the sport.

Afghanistan Cricket has made 8 changes to their ODI squad ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan in September 2021. The new players are Sediq Atal, Shahidullah Kamal, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Abdul Rahman in a 17-member squad while Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, and Ikram Alikhal are making their comeback.

The likes of Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Javed Ahmadi, Usman Ghani, Yamin Ahmadzai, and Sayed Shirzad have been dropped.

Afghanistan squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Sediq Atal, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najib Zadran, Ikram Alikhal, Shahid Kamal, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Azmat Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Abdul Rahman, Naveen Ul Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Noor Ahmad

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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ICC Replies To BCCI And Says KPL Is Not Under ICC Jurisdiction And Isn’t An International Tournament

ICC(International Cricket Council) has responded to BCCI after the latter urged the world body to not recognize Kashmir Premier League. An ICC spokesperson while talking to Pakistan’s Geo TV said: “The tournament is not under ICC’s jurisdiction as it is not an international cricket tournament.”

According to ICC rules, each national federation shall have the sole and exclusive right to sanction the staging of domestic matches within its territory. The ICC can only intervene if matches are to be held in the territory of an associate member territory.

The KPL is out of ICC jurisdiction as it is not an international tournament.
The KPL is out of ICC jurisdiction as it is not an international tournament.

ICC Replies To BCCI After BCCI Urged The Apex Board Not To Recognize Kashmir Premier League

Earlier BCCI had objected to the tournament as it will be played in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad which is the heart of a disputed land-a bone of contention between India and Pakistan for years.

The tournament is set to start on August 6 and will see participation from top Pakistan and overseas cricketers like Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Shadab Khan, Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs.

“The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries. The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. “

Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement (Source: Twitter)

“Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low,” ESPN Cricinfo stated in its report.

The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, Monty Panesar, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this league.

Monty Panesar, former England left-arm spinner has decided to pull out of the inaugural Kashmir Premier League (KPL) owing to ‘political tensions between India and Pakistan.’

Herschelle Gibbs Criticize BCCI For Interfering And Trying To Stop Him From Playing Kashmir Premier League

Meanwhile, a number of cricketers including South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs have alleged that the Indian cricket board is doing everything to dissuade them from joining KPL.

The Pakistan Cricket Board too has lashed out at BCCI: “Such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedence, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored. The PCB will raise this matter at the appropriate International Cricket Council forum and also reserves the right to take any further action that is available to us within the International Cricket Council charter,” read the PCB statement.

Herschelle Gibbs, former South African batsman, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were slammed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the Indian board is well within its rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

This response from the BCCI comes on the same day when former Proteas’ batsman Herschelle Gibbs criticized the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers. Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors.

BCCI has written to the ICC urging it to not recognize the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the Pakistan domestic T20 tournament which is due to begin on August 6. The PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs.
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Writes To ICC Urging It Not To Recognize KPL

BCCI has written to the ICC urging it to not recognize the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the Pakistan domestic T20 tournament which is due to begin on August 6.
The PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs. That was based on reports that the BCCI had been in touch with a number of other Full Members to try and prevent players from those countries from appearing in the league.
BCCI, ICC, PCB
BCCI, ICC, PCB

BCCI Writes To The ICC Urging Not To Recognize The Kashmir Premier League

Herschelle Gibbs, the former South Africa opener, who is expected to play in the league, said on Twitter that he had been threatened that he wouldn’t be allowed entry “into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous.”
But it has emerged now that the BCCI had also reached out to the ICC. The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries.
The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low.
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Relations between the two boards generally follow on from the political atmosphere of the day, and this latest spat will merely exacerbate an already strained relationship. But there would appear to be little the ICC can do about this. Approval for such domestic leagues is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played, and not the ICC, and the KPL has the PCB’s approval. There is also nothing in any ICC regulations about matches in disputed territories.
The KPL is a six-team franchise-model league, PCB-approved, and to be played at the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-administered Kashmir from August 6. Squads were selected in a draft last month and, according to the organizers, would be captained by Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, and Shadab Khan.
The BCCI’s concern centers, however, on the foreign players signed up with the league, on the basis that international players turn the tournament into something more than just a domestic event and give it international legitimacy of sorts.

Monty Panesar Pulls Out Of KPL

Foreign players on the roster are mostly retired and include Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs. Through conversations with several boards, the BCCI has made it clear that these players would be considered rebels and would be treated by them as would the participants of any unrecognized league.
Monty Panesar declared that he will not be participating in Pakistan’s ‘Kashmir Premier League’ and also warned the other participating players to think about the consequences first before taking part in the Pakistan Occupied ‘Kashmir Premier League’.
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement (Source: Twitter)

The two sides have not played each other in a bilateral series since 2012-13 or a Test match since 2007-08, though they do face off regularly in ICC events. PCB has accused the BCCI of not honoring their agreement, signed in 2014, to play bilateral series between the two nations. PCB claims that this has caused large commercial losses to them.

According to the agreement signed in 2014, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with four of those to be hosted by the PCB. However, BCCI has claimed that they have no authority on the same and have to follow the Indian government orders, that have prohibited any bilateral cricket between the neighbors, following which PCB claimed losses.

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar
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Monty Panesar Pulls Out Of KPL

Monty Panesar, former England left-arm spinner has decided to pull out of the inaugural Kashmir Premier League (KPL) owing to ‘political tensions between India and Pakistan.’

The inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League ran into a major controversy after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) alleged that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was interfering in the internal matters of an ICC member. The BCCI hit back saying that they are well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

Monty Panesar, former England left-arm spinner has pulled out of Pakistan's Kashmir Premier League. (Source: Twitter)
Monty Panesar, former England left-arm spinner has pulled out of Pakistan’s Kashmir Premier League. (Source: Twitter)

Monty Panesar Withdraws From KPL

Amid the controversy, Monty Panesar took to his official Twitter account and confirmed that he won’t be playing in the KPL.

His tweet read: “I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan over kashmir issues. I don’t want to be in the middle of this , it would make me feel uncomfortable. #KPL2021 #Kashmir #india #Cricket #Pakistan #ENGvIND #TheHundred.”

Pakistan’s attempt to use ‘gentlemen’s game’ cricket as a political tool has been backfired as England’s former spinner Monty Panesar has withdrawn his name from the upcoming PoK league. The following development comes after South Africa’s former cricketer Herschelle Gibbs accused India’s Cricket board of threatening him against participating in a sham cricket league Pakistan has planned in PoK.

Monty Panesar further elaborated on his decision to pull out of the PoK League. Monty Panesar informed that the English Cricket Board (ECB) and Professional Cricket Association (PCA) had apprised him of the consequences of participating in KPL, including, cancellation of visa to India or denial of cricketing-related work.

Earlier, former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs accused the BCCI of trying to prevent him from featuring in the KPL.

His tweet read: “Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

Following this, the PCB released a statement, claiming the BCCI had once again breached international norms by interfering in Pakistan cricket’s internal matter.

The PCB statement read: “The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC Members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the BCCI has approached the apex board, the International Cricket Council (ICC), urging it not to recognize the KPL. The report stated that the Indian board has expressed its displeasure with the event to the ICC in writing.

Monty Panesar announced that he will not be participating in Pakistan’s sham ‘Kashmir Premier League’ and also warned the other participating players to think about the consequences first before taking part in Pakistan Occupied ‘Kashmir Premier League’.

ICC May Not Be Able To Do Much About The KPL Controversy

The BCCI is said to have based its complaint around the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory and the long-standing issue between India and Pakistan over the region. The report, however, pointed out that the ICC might not be able to do much about the KPL controversy.

Kashmir Premier League Credit: Twitter/@kpl_20
Kashmir Premier League Credit: Twitter/@kpl_20

Approval for domestic leagues like the KPL is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played. The KPL has already been approved by the PCB. As for cricket matches in disputed territories, there is no such ICC regulation to deal with the matter. KPL 2021 will feature six franchises and is set to be held from August 6 to August 17.

The BCCI has informally told cricket boards across the world that anyone associated with the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) hosted in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will be banned from participating in any cricket work on or off the pitch in India.

The controversy over Kashmir Premier League is creating a battle between the BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board. The PCB released a statement slamming BCCI’s alleged warning to several cricket boards against allowing their former players to take part in the tournament. The PCB said they would take up the matter with the ICC, calling BCCI’s actions against the spirit of the game.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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Saeed Ajmal Claims Ravichandran Ashwin Was Kept Away From Cricket To Work On His Action To Avoid Ban

Saeed Ajmal had a history of always getting called out by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his action being illegal during his time with the Pakistan team from 2008 to 2015.

If there is one cricketer who is constantly in news for giving feedback or suggestions, then it has got to be Ravichandran Ashwin.  India’s premier spinner was first targeted by Sanjay Manjrekar who said he is not yet ‘an all-time great player’ while the topic is still burning, another one, this time, from former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has come.

The 43-year-old told that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was deliberately kept away from the game during that period.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Saeed Ajmal
Ravichandran Ashwin and Saeed Ajmal. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Saeed Ajmal Said All Those Rules Were For Him Whereas Ravichandran Ashwin Was Out From Cricket For 6 Months

Seeed Ajmal had a history of always getting called out by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his action being illegal during his time with the Pakistan team from 2008 to 2015. Ravichandran Ashwin made his international debut in 2010, one year later to Saeed Ajmal, and has been a constant member of the Indian team. Saeed Ajmal though felt something was not right and has stated his displeasure.

“You changed all these rules and regulations without asking anyone. I was playing cricket for the last eight years. All those rules were for me. That’s it. During that period, Ashwin was out from cricket for six months.

“Why is that? So you can work on him and your bowler doesn’t get banned. They don’t care if a Pakistan bowler gets banned. They only care about money,” Saeed Ajmal told as quoted by Cricwick.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal in a controversial statement said that India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had been kept out of cricket for a while in order to avoid being banned by the ICC. Saeed Ajmal, who has been banned for chucking on multiple occasions, alleges that the ICC engages in favouritism, tilting towards India.

Ravichandran Ashwin has last featured in an ODI and T20I in 2017 in June-July against West Indies. He has 150 ODI scalps in 111 ODIs.  Ravichandran Ashwin’s last international ODI game was on 30 June 2017 in the 3rd ODI at North Sound against the West Indies while he is an invaluable indispensable member of the Test team where he has 409 scalps and is among India’s top 5 wicket-takers.

When the 43-year-old former spinner was quizzed to speak on the semi-final match between India and Pakistan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in which Saeed Ajmal managed to get former legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket before the DRS came to rescue and the decision was overturned.

The legendary cricketer scored 78 and helped India enter the finals. Sachin Tendulkar played the last of his 6 World Cups in 2011 and India won the World Cup after a hiatus of 28 long years.

Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP
Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP

“The umpire who gave Tendulkar out, he would be ready to give the statement that he got it right. And the meaning is pretty clear. The DRS can be checked manually. You can alter it at any stage.

“I don’t know about that but even if I see it now and any umpire sees that he will think that this will go on to hit the stumps. But that missed the stumps. Thousands of people have questioned me this, and I don’t know the answer.”

Saeed Ajmal made his debut for Pakistan and 2008 and would go on to play 35 Tests, 113 ODIs, and 64 T20Is in the next seven years.

International Cricket Council , AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council , AFP File Photo
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WTC Final: ICC To Induct 10 Legends Into Its Hall Of Fame

ICC will induct 10 legends of cricket into its illustrious Hall of Fame, with two players each from five eras, dating back to cricket’s early days, joining an existing list of 93 of the world’s greatest.

The global cricket body announced a special edition of the ICC Hall of Fame to coincide with the first-ever World Test Championship final, to be contested between India and New Zealand, from June 18 in Southampton.

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

ICC Honoured To Announce A One Time Induction Of Ten Cricket Greats Into ICC Hall Of Fame

As many as 10 legends of the game who have made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket will be inducted to join the 93 players, who are already on the illustrious list, taking the total to 103.

“It is an honour for us to announce a one-time induction of ten cricketing greats into the Hall of Fame to coincide with the first-ever final of the World Test Championship in Southampton,” ICC acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said in a release.

International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council

The special intake will see two players from each of the following five eras join the ranks of the world’s greatest players: Early Cricket Era (pre-1918), Inter-War Cricket Era (1918–1945), Post-War Cricket Era (1946–1970), ODI Era (1971–1995), Modern Cricket Era (1996–2016).

10 Legends Set To Be Inducted As Part Of The Special Edition Voted By ICC Hall Of Fame Voting Academy

The 10 legends inducted as part of the special edition have been voted by the Hall of Fame Voting Academy, comprising living Hall of Fame members, a FICA (Federation of International Cricketer Association) representative, prominent cricket journalists, and senior ICC figures. The announcement will be made during a live show streamed via ICC’s digital media channels.

Alan Wilkins
Alan Wilkins. Photo Credit: PSL.

The special edition of the Hall of Fame show will be hosted by Alan Wilkins and streamed live on all digital channels, including Facebook and YouTube on June 13.

The ICC’s independent statistician will compile a list of significant cricketing figures from each era which will be presented to the Hall of Fame Nominations Committee who will then shortlist six names from each of the five eras. Thereafter, the Hall of Fame Voting Academy would vote online for the final induction.

ICC WTC
ICC WTC
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International Cricket Council Revisiting 2 Crucial Clauses In The Playing Conditions For WTC Final

International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly revisiting a couple of crucial clauses in the playing conditions for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand next month.

A few weeks ahead of the summit match at Southampton, the world apex body is unsure about its original plan to declare both teams “joint winners” in case of a draw and its “reserve day” to minimize the impact of bad weather.

International Cricket Council - AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo

International Cricket Council Committee Is Working Out To Ensure A Winner Of WTC Final In Case Of A Draw

According to a report in the Times of India, the ‘joint winners’ plan isn’t sitting well with the officials and they are all set to discuss an approach to maximize the chances for a result.

“The idea of having joint winners also doesn’t sit very well given it’s the first time a WTC final is being played. So, one has to have maximum options open to get a result out of the match. The ICC committee is working on it and it should be out this week,” an ICC source told TOI.

ICC World Test Championship mace
File photo of ICC World Test Championship mace. Image Source: ICC

The WTC final between India and New Zealand will be played on June 18-22 at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. June 23 was kept as a reserve day to make up for any hours lost due to adverse weather conditions in the first five days.

“The idea was to ensure that the match is played out in the 30 hours in the first five days. And the reserve day would come into play only if a total of 30 hours were not played in the first five days. That would have meant that the result had a lesser chance of being influenced by weather,” the source explained.

International Cricket Council Will Have A Meeting On June 1 To Discuss The Second Edition Of The WTC (2021-23)

There are also doubts over the second edition of the WTC. The International Cricket Council had originally announced that the inaugural tournament (2019-21) will be backed up by a second cycle in 2021-23. The five-Test rubber between India and England was supposed to be the first series in the new edition.

Greg Barclay (Photo credit: @ICC Twitter handle)
Greg Barclay (Photo credit: @ICC Twitter handle)

However, an official announcement is yet to come. Moreover, the new International Cricket Council chairman Greg Barclay made his scepticism about the WTC public last year by saying the tournament hasn’t achieved what it intended to, fuelling more speculation over its future. All of this will be brought to the table in an upcoming ICC meeting on June 1.

The first ICC World Test Championship started after the 2019 Cricket World Cup on 1 August 2019, with the Ashes series. The second ICC World Test Championship will run from July 2021 to June 2023.

Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson
Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson(Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)
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ICC Confident That WTC Final Will Be Held As Per Schedule On June 18

ICC on Monday said it is confident that the World Test Championship final will be held as scheduled in Southampton despite the United Kingdom adding India to its travel ‘red list’ amid the surge of Covid-19 cases in the Asian country.

The International Cricket Council on Monday said that it is confident of hosting the World Test Championship final as scheduled despite the worsening COVID-19 situation, especially in India.

ICC World Test Championship mace
File photo of ICC World Test Championship mace. Image Source ICC

ICC Discussing With The UK Government The Impact Of Countries On Red List

The final of the inaugural edition of the Test Championship will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18 to 22 between India and New Zealand. Notably, the United Kingdom added India to its travel ‘red list’, banning arrivals from the country as the Asian country is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. However, the ICC is confident of staging the event as planned.

File image of ICC.(File)
File image of ICC.(File)

“We are currently discussing with the UK Government the impact of countries being on the ‘red list’,” an ICC spokesperson said.

New Zealand was the first team to make the ICC World Test Championship final and they were joined by India following their series win over Australia and then England. New Zealand has a strong team in the likes of skipper Kane Williamson, pacers Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee, batsmen Ross Taylor and Tom Latham and wicket-keeper BJ Watling.

New Zealand named a 20-member squad for their tour of England, including the World Test Championship final against India. Led by Kane Williamson, the squad includes three uncapped players – Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway and Jacob Duffy. The squad will then be trimmed to 15 for the World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton starting on June 18, as per ICC regulations.

New Zealand players involved in the IPL will be managed depending on their team’s exit from the tournament. Four members of the squad namely Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner are a part of the IPL 2021.

ICC: ECB Have Demonstrated Staging International Cricket Amidst Covid-19

Amidst the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the world, India A’s tour of England was put on hold. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) settled down on an agreement with each other to postpone India A’s tour of England, which was scheduled alongside the senior side’s tour in June this year.

India will travel to England in June to take part in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship. They will take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand. After the final, the Men in Blue will play five Test matches against England beginning on August 4. West Indies and Pakistan participated in 3 Tests each in England amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

“The ECB and other Members have demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic, and we are confident that we can continue to do that and that the World Test Championship Final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK.”

New Zealand Test team
New Zealand Test team Getty Images

India sealed a memorable 2-1 Test series win in Australia earlier this year that propelled them closer to the final berth. A 3-1 win over England at home sealed the deal for India as Virat Kohli has another chance to win his maiden ICC trophy with the senior national team.

New Zealand full squad for England:

Kane Williamson (c), Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Latham, Daryll Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Will Young

IPL 2021
IPL 2021. Image Credits: Twitter
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BCCI Decides To Do Away With ‘Soft Signal’ For IPL 2021

BCCI has decided to remove the soft signals rule for the upcoming Indian Premier League 2021. India skipper Virat Kohli had recently spoken about the need to remove the soft signal rule when referring to a decision, that went against India, to the third-umpire and this point has been discussed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India as they have done away with soft signals for the upcoming IPL 2021.

In its updated playing conditions for this year’s IPL, the BCCI has clearly stated that the on-field officials would not be allowed to give soft signals when referring a decision to the third umpire. There is one clear change and it pertains to the usage of the soft signal in Appendix D – Clause 2.2.2 of the playing conditions before IPL 2021.

At BCCI's Insistence, the ICC are expected to scrap soft signals Twitter
At BCCI’s Insistence, the ICC are expected to scrap soft signals Twitter

BCCI Decides To Remove Soft Signal Rule For Upcoming IPL 2021

The contentious rule came to the forefront in the fourth India-England T20I in Pune when England’s fielder Dawid Malan caught Suryakumar Yadav at the fine-leg boundary. Dawid Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it. The on-field umpire gave that out despite being far away from the action.

However, even after assessing multiple angles, the third umpire failed to find any such conclusive evidence that could have reversed the on-field decision. The batsman Suryakumar Yadav was eventually ruled out which raised a furor over how the on-field umpire can give a decision (read ‘soft signal’) when he does not have a clear sight of the incident in real-time.

“Soft Signal: On-field Umpire giving Soft Signal while referring the decision to the 3rd Umpire will not be applicable,” states the updated playing conditions for IPL 2021.

England's Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India's Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
England’s Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India’s, Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The decision to remove the soft signal has been taken so that the third umpire can make the best possible decision without keeping the on-field call in mind. Speaking to ANI, sources of BCCI in the know of developments said that the call to abolish the rule has been made to avoid any confusion in making umpiring decisions.

“There have been cases wherein the soft signal has kind of created confusion rather than giving clarity to the third umpire and that is why it was felt that going back to the old method of referring decisions to the third umpire if the on-field umpires are not sure should be followed,” the source said.

Speaking on the soft signal issue, Kohli had said: “If it hits the stumps or missing the stumps, it should not matter how much the ball is clipping because it is creating a lot of confusion. One more factor that needs to be considered is how the fielding team responds to a dismissal that is claimed. “

“This is somewhere defining the soft signals as well. You have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are because if things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas then you are talking about a completely different conversation about the spirit of the game.”

“So look, it is a serious thing which needs to be considered because there is a lot at stake in bigger tournaments. You do not want any grey area hampering the game and it leaves with you no clarity.”

At BCCI’s insistence, the ICC eventually decided to amend the soft signal rule before the World Test Championship summit clash between India and New Zealand later in the summer. After the aforementioned T20I in Pune, which India won, Virat Kohli vouched for an ‘I don’t know’ call for the on-field umpires.

3rd Umpire To Check Short Run And Can Overturn On Field Umpires Decisions

There is also a major change in the updated guidelines of IPL as laid down by BCCI’s guidelines as pertaining to the case of short run, for which the third umpire can check whether it was a short run or not and the official can overturn the decision made by the on-field umpires.

“Short-run: In the case of the short run, the third umpire checks the short run and can overturn the decision made by the on-field umpires,” states the updated playing conditions for IPL 2021.

Chris Jordan Wrongly Given 'Short Run' During DC vs KXIP In IPL 2020
Chris Jordan Wrongly Given ‘Short Run’ During DC vs KXIP In IPL 2020

This short-run point became a huge debating point last year in the match between Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) and Delhi Capitals. The Punjab management also made an official complaint after they ended up on the losing side. As a measure to control the match timings, the 20th overs in each innings is now included in 90 minutes, earlier the 20th over was to start on or before the 90th minute.

In updated guidelines as per BCCI, now the third umpire can overrule the no-ball decision made by the on-field umpire. There is another updated clause as per BCCI’s guidelines in the playing conditions and it states that in an uninterrupted match, subsequent super overs can be played till an hour’s time from the actual finished time of the tied matches (Clause 16.3.1).

The ICC are expected to scrap soft signalsTwitter
The ICC are expected to scrap soft signalsTwitter
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ICC Set To Amend Soft Signal Rule Before WTC Final Begins From June 18

ICC (International Cricket Council) is all set to amend its contentious ‘soft signal’ rule before the beginning of the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June. The soft signal rule is the on-field umpire’s call, based on which a batsman can be ruled out or not out by the third umpire.

The contentious rule came to the forefront in the fourth India-England T20I in Pune when England’s fielder Dawid Malan caught Suryakumar Yadav at the fine-leg boundary. Dawid Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it.

England's Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India's Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
England’s Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India’s Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

ICC Eventually Decides To Amend The Soft Signal Rule Before WTC Final

The on-field umpire gave that out despite being far away from the action. The third umpire now had to find ‘conclusive evidence’ to overturn the on-field decision.

However, even after assessing multiple angles, the third umpire failed to find any such conclusive evidence that could have reversed the on-field decision. The batsman Suryakumar Yadav was eventually ruled out which raised a furor over how the on-field umpire can give a decision (read ‘soft signal’) when he does not have a clear sight of the incident in real-time.

Captain Virat Kohli, in the post-match presentation, as well as former players like VVS Laxman, called for a rethink on the contentious ‘soft signal’ rule.

File image of ICC.(File)
File image of ICC.(File)

According to a report in Cricbuzz, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah initiated the debate at the ICC’s board meeting on Thursday. He found support from other members who agreed that the protocols around the soft signal for out-field catches needs changes.

ICC Decides To Amend The Soft Signal Rule Especially Concerning Outfield Catches

The ICC eventually decided to amend the said rule before the World Test Championship summit clash between India and New Zealand later in the summer.

Unlike another debatable topic, the umpire’s call, the soft signal issue might not be referred to the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee. The report added that the ICC’s Chief Executives’ Committee will take up the matter not the Cricket Committee . The process may take some time, but the BCCI has, at least, set the ball rolling.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Indian captain Virat Kohli isn’t impressed and spoke candidly about the contentious soft-signal rule, especially when it concerns outfield catches where the on-field umpire is far away from the action. After the aforementioned T20I in Pune, which India won, Virat Kohli vouched for an ‘I don’t know’ call for the on field umpires.

It is also something that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) recommended recently. MCC’s World Cricket Committee suggested that the on-field umpire should say ‘unsighted’ instead of ‘out’ or ‘not out’ for uncertain outfield catches.

He had said in this regard: “I don’t know why there can’t be an ‘I don’t know’ call with the umpires as well. These decisions can change the course of the game, especially in these big games. We were on the receiving side today, and tomorrow it could be some other team.”

Meanwhile, India and England meet in the second ODI in Pune on Friday. The WTC final between India and New Zealand is slated to be played in Southampton from June 18 to 22.

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