The International Cricket Council, on Thursday, suspended the Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect after the African nation failed to run its cricket in accordance with ICC’s guidelines.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Board (ZCB) was earlier banned in its own country after the Zimbabwean government found the organization guilty of maladministration. The board was directed to postpone ZCB’s election after claims of corruption were made against the board, but they went ahead and conducted the electoral process. Following which the government was forced to suspend the board and take the matter in its own hand. An interim committee was formed to look after all the cricket-related issues in the country.
This according to the ICC violates its constitution as it doesn’t influence any kind of “government influence in the administration of cricket”. The ICC Board unanimously decided that the Full Member 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,” read the official ICC statement.
The decision, which was taken at the Annual Conference of cricket’s global governing body, will also make sure the ICC funds to Zimbabwe cricket are frozen. It will also not allow any further representation of a team from Zimbabwe in any ICC tournament, which has now jeopardized the team’s participation chances for the ICC World T20 qualifiers next year.
“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar. “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.”
Also, the Croatia Cricket Federation and Zambia Cricket Union have been suspended due to their non-compliance with the regulations of ICC Membership. The Annual Conference meeting also decided on introducing the concussion replacement system in international cricket and the first game in which it could be tried is the first Ashes Test. “The player will need to be a like-for-like substitute, and any such switch will need to be approved by the Match Referee,” the official statement said.