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ICC lays out US reform plan, supports Pakistan’s return as international host

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has outlined its plans for reform of the governance of the sport in the United States following the expulsion of the USA Cricket Association (USACA), while it has taken further steps to return international cricket to Pakistan and has appointed Imran Khawaja as deputy chairman.

The ICC Full Council last week voted unanimously to expel USACA, whose administration has been in turmoil for months. The world governing body has now outlined the process for the incorporation of a new governing body for cricket in the US and confirmed all cricket activities should continue during the transition period.

The Sustainable Foundation Advisory Group comprising representatives from across the cricketing family in the USA, will work alongside the ICC Americas team incorporating a USA project team to oversee the sport whilst a new entity is created and a board appointed.

A new membership database incorporating the whole cricket community in the USA will now be developed, providing the basis of the electorate that will vote for the new board in early 2018. Individuals, clubs and leagues will be represented in the membership in a bid to ensure it is reflective of the whole sport in the USA. The ICC said it hopes a new board will be established by April 2018 with a view to the new governing body being recognised at next year’s Full Council meeting.

The ICC Board said it has exercised its discretion to allow all USA cricket teams to remain in their current positions in the various event structures so players are not penalised and the sport can continue to grow and not have its development set back by a number of years.

An independent commercial agent will be appointed to carry out a review of the opportunities in the US to enable the new governing body to be in the best position to accelerate growth and development of the game when it comes into being.

ICC chief executive David Richardson (picture) said: “We do not take the expulsion of any member lightly, but we have been through a robust two-year process to reach this point with the full support of all of our members. Our focus now is on getting a new governing body incorporated and up and running as soon as we can.”

Meanwhile, plans for a World XI to play in Pakistan later this year continue to be developed as the ICC Board confirmed its support of Pakistan’s efforts to bring international cricket back to the country.

Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are the only international teams to play in Pakistan since an attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus by gunmen in Lahore in March 2009. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been seeking to return top-level cricket to the country and the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) final was successfully staged in Lahore in March. The match had been called into question amid renewed security worries in Pakistan, but ultimately saw Peshawar Zalmi defeat the Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs to claim the title.

The ICC said it has now agreed to support the staging of a Pakistan v World XI event in Lahore later this year, a three-game series of Twenty20 matches that will be afforded international status.

In other news, Singapore executive Khawaja, chairman of the ICC’s associate nations, has been elected as the body’s deputy’s chairman. The post, which was created following the constitutional change approved at the ICC Full Council meeting last week, will see Khawaja deputise for chairman Shashank Manohar when he is unable to fulfil his duties.