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ICC ready to cut World Cups to five weeks

The International Cricket Council (ICC) looks set to restrict the duration of World Cups to a maximum of five weeks after criticism that this year's tournament was too long.

cricket Updated: Jun 29, 2007 23:19 IST
Sam Peters

The International Cricket Council (ICC) looks set to restrict the duration of World Cups to a maximum of five weeks after criticism that this year's tournament was too long.

The annual meeting of world cricket's governing body also agreed Zimbabwe was not ready to return to the test arena.

The 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean lasted 47 days. Poor attendances were blamed on the length of the competition, over-priced tickets and the early exits of Pakistan and India, while the death of Bob Woolmer cast a long shadow over the event.

The final was also concluded in near darkness after confusion over playing regulations.

"A report on the World Cup will be discussed at our next board meeting (in late October) but there is already a general agreement the tournament should not exceed five weeks," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed told reporters.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan, who takes over as ICC president in June 2008, dismissed criticism the ICC was driving an increase in the amount of international cricket.

Full members

"It's important to realise the volume of cricket is not driven by the ICC, it is driven by the individual boards of the 10 full members," said Morgan.

"All the ICC require is a test series lasts a minimum of two matches and the one-day series is three matches."

On the issue of Zimbabwe, Speed said: "The executive board considered the future of Zimbabwe and received a report from the chairman of Zimbabwe cricket.

"He advised the board Zimbabwe is not yet ready to return to test cricket. It was agreed the chairman would report back to the board when it believed it was ready to resume playing test cricket and at that point the board would make a decision."

The Zimbabwe government withdrew their team from the test arena last year after many experienced players quit the squad because of differences with the board.

Zimbabwe, however, still played in the World Cup earlier this year.

Other issues covered in the ICC's week of meetings at Lord's was an agreement that an umpiring task force be formed with a view to improving the standard of officiating.

Also, from Oct. 1, if a bowler delivers a front foot no-ball in a one-day international, the following ball will be deemed a 'free hit'.

Cameroon, Falkland Islands, Peru and Swaziland were all granted affiliate ICC membership while Jersey was granted associate membership.

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