The International Cricket Council (ICC World Cup) is the governing body of the game of cricket. Initially, it was named as Imperial Cricket Conference when it was founded in 1909. It then had representatives only from England, Australia and South Africa.
Its name was later in 1965 changed as International Cricket Conference. Its present name – International Cricket Council (ICC) was taken up in 1989.
ICC World Cup – The International Cricket Council 2015 Updates
Presently, ICC has a total of 106 members. Ten full members, namely Pakistan, India, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and England can play test cricket – a five-day cricket match.
ICC has 37 Associate Members, where cricket is blooming. Meanwhile, there are 59 Affiliate Members, which ICC recognizes where the game of cricket is played.
ICC also has the responsibility to organize and govern big international tournaments. The top tournament it organizes is Cricket World Cup.
ICC picks all officials for cricket tournaments such as umpires and referees. These officials officiate all ICC recognized matches that could be either tests, One Day Internationals and T20Is.
ICC also constitutes and spread, among its members, rules and regulations and are called and recognized throughout the world as ICC Code of Conduct.
ICC has also established Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) for taking action against corrupt practices, match-fixing or spot-fixing.
However, ICC does not try to control bilateral tournaments between its member countries. Although ICC has established some general rules and regulations to be followed but it does not interfere much in domestic cricket affairs of member countries.
Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Mustafa Kamal is the contemporary president of ICC. South African David Richardson is the current Chief Executive Officer of ICC. Controversial Indian Industrialist Narayanaswami Srinivasan, who was former President of Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is the current chairman of ICC.
The International Cricket Council oversees conditions of play, reviews of bowling and many other ICC regulations. Although ICC does not has the patent to the laws of cricket since only MCC can change the laws but contemporarily changes would only be made after deliberations with ICC.
Players throughout the world have to follow “Code of Conduct” established by ICC. These are actually set of laws of the game. These may be on field as well off field laws for example may be breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct while making some ethically provoking comments. ICC can ban and penalize players and officials for breaching ICC code of conduct.
The ICC has categorized its members in three classes. Above mentioned full members play official Test matches, recognized by ICC. The associate members are those countries where cricket is strongly established and played. However, they do not have the eligibility for Full Membership. In ICC’s affiliate members’ list, there are sixty governing bodies in different countries where ICC recognises that the game is played according to Laws of Cricket.
ICC has also made its mark while dealing with scandals of drugs and bribery, which also involved top cricketers.
After bribery scandals by cricketers, who were connected both with legal and illegal bookie markets, the international governing body established its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) in the year 2000.
ICC gave the job to former commissioner of London Police, named Lord Condon. Among top scandals of match-fixing, former South African captain Hansie Cronje, who later died in a plane crash, was also involved. It was found that he had accepted money from an Indian bookmaker to under-perform or to ensure that certain matches would have a fixed result.
Meanwhile, former prolific Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and swashbuckling all-rounder Ajay Jadeja had also been investigated and were later found guilty for match-fixing. The two were then banned from playing international or recognized domestic cricket. Azharuddin was banned for life and Jadeja faced ban for five years.
The ACSU also monitor and probe any reports wrongdoing in cricket. Several protocols have also been introduced. One of the example of such protocols is prohibiting the use of cell phones in dressing rooms etc.
ICC generates its income by organizing tournaments like World Cup, Champions Trophy and World T20 Championship. ICC distributes the majority of its income among its members. The basic source of income through tournaments is sponsorships and television rights.
But ICC does not accrue any income from bilateral international cricket matches among different countries. In order to generate more revenue, ICC has started its successful new tournament ICC World Twenty20, which was first played in 2007.
Historically, ICC initially had only three founding members, which were England, Australia and South Africa. Officials from the three countries met at the historic Lord’s and founded the ICC, which was then read as Imperial Cricket Conference.
In the beginning, ICC’s membership was given to governing bodies of cricket, which were within the British Empire and where test cricket was played.
New Zealand, West Indies and India were later taken on board ICC after they were elected as Full Members back in 1926. It doubled the number of small Test-playing nations.
After Pakistan secured its independence in 1947, the new born country was given full Test status in 1952. However, the total membership again fell to six in 1961 after South Africa abandoned the Commonwealth and subsequently lost its membership.
After discussion among members in 1965, the Imperial Cricket Conference name was changed to International Cricket Conference. New rules were also adopted to make exception for election of countries, which were not a part of Commonwealth.
It led to expansion of the governing body and Associate Members were also admitted. Associates were entitled to only one vote, when Founding and Full Members had two votes. But foundation members still retained the right of veto.
Sri Lanka got full membership in 1981, which increased the number of full members to seven again. In 1989, more new rules were picked and the name International Cricket Conference was changed again to its present name, the International Cricket Council. South Africa once again was elected as a full member in 1991 at the end of notorious apartheid government. The following year, Zimbabwe was also included as ninth test-playing nation. In the year 2000, Bangladesh received full membership and a consequent test status.