ICC to tighten norms for professional leagues’ sanction

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International Cricket Council will discuss stringent norms to sanction profession T20 and T10 cricket leagues to various national cricket boards. A top ICC official has been reported as saying the ICC meeting next week will deliberate on implementing stricter rules to sanction new professional cricket leagues.

Geoff Allardice, general manager of Cricket for the International Cricket Council (ICC), said the matter would be discussed at the body’s board meeting in Singapore on October 20.

“One of the things we will be talking about in our meeting next week is around regulations and sanctioning of events and also the release of players (for leagues),” Allardice told media.

“So you look at all of the documentation and the ownership structures and how the league is going to be funded and all these types of things and then you provide approval.

“It’s not just going to be an open door for any promoter to come in. I think it will be a bit harder to get sanctions in the future and any tournament would need both the support of the home country and the ICC.”

Following the grand success of the Indian Premier League, various ICC member boards have launched their own leagues. The instant money has seen players opting for “clubs” over their countries. For West Indies international Carl Hooper had recently blamed the IPL for the decline in the standard of the Caribbean cricket. The lure of quick bucks have seen many international cricket stars announcing early retirements to exploit professional opportunities with the leagues.

After the national T20 leagues by the Caribbean, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan cricket boards, UAE last year has launched another curtailed 120-over-a-side T10 league, duly sanctioned by the ICC.

While some of the leagues have been successful commercially, the Masters Cricket League in the UAE, featuring veterans who have retired or are close to the end of their international careers, was shelved after the inaugural edition in 2016. There have been major issues with players’ payments.

Any new league will have to face more stringent criteria to get ICC approvals.

“I think perhaps the hurdles to jump for a promoter to put on a T20 league are going to be a bit higher and that the vetting process by both the host country and by the ICC would be enhanced.”