The International Cricket Council (ICC) has moved to draw up a rescue package for Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), while it has issued a warning to Sri Lanka amid the governance crisis affecting the sport in the country.
The ICC made the announcements following the conclusion of its annual conference in Dublin, Ireland yesterday (Monday). The ICC Board agreed a package of measures designed to enable ZC to stabilise its business and allow cricket to flourish in the country. The ICC said ZC has now complied with a number of conditions recently set by the world governing body in relation to its financial situation.
As such, the ICC confirmed a rearrangement of ZC’s funding that will assist with the service of its existing debts, whilst the remainder of the funding will only be released on a controlled basis. ICC management will work with ZC to develop a plan for managing its cricketing, management and financial structures which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The ESPNcricinfo website said Zimbabwe was at risk of suspension at the conference unless it could provide evidence of reduced or restructured debt. ZC, in association with the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation, has reportedly been able to renegotiate its debt, which totalled around $18m (€15.4m).
In a statement, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar (pictured) said: “I am satisfied we have mapped out a way forward to enable Zimbabwe Cricket to get back on track. It will require significant change to their financial, managerial and cricketing operations, along with support from the ICC, but we saw the latent potential of cricket at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and this gives us the opportunity to build on that.”
Meanwhile, the ICC Board has agreed to allow a representative of the Sri Lankan Sports Minister to sit as an observer to the board and Full Council, but requested that elections for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are held within six months, failing which its membership status would be considered.
The Sri Lankan government temporarily took control of SLC in May amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the national governing body’s president, Thilanga Sumathipala.