- World Twenty20
ICC extends Bangladesh's venue deadline
The ICC has accepted the Bangladesh Cricket Board's request to extend the deadline for the readying of its stadiums for the 2014 World Twenty20 to November 30. The ICC Development International (IDI) board took the decision after reviewing a report on the condition of the venues, put together by the ICC venue consultant.
The main issue is with the stadiums at Sylhet and Cox's Bazar, which are still being developed. An ICC team visited the venues last week. The Sylhet stadium's pavilion, the biggest reason for all the delay, is close to completion, with the structure in place, and the press box also almost complete.
The original deadline for the completion of the stadiums was September 30. BCB president Nazmul Hasan had said in August that he had "no doubt that the construction work will end by mid-October". The tournament is scheduled to be played between March 16 and April 6 next year.
Now, sources in the BCB have said it plans to finish the work by the first week of November, and host Indian state side Maharashtra at the ground to judge its readiness. Maharashtra Cricket Association president Ajay Shirke, however, said "no such proposal is in the pipeline". But Maharashtra have a break in first-class Ranji Trophy between October 30 and November 14, and given the association's severe cash crunch due to its ongoing dispute with Indian company Sahara Pariwar over title rights of the new stadium on the outskirts of Pune, it may agree to send over a team if all expenses are borne by the hosts.
While the BCB has been given more time by the ICC to complete work on the stadiums, the schedule for the tournament will be announced in Dhaka on October 27. These decisions were taken at the ICC board meeting in London, on October 18 and 19.
The other major decision taken at the meeting was with regard to the ICC's anti-corruption code. A revised version of the code, which an ICC release termed "more robust and strengthened" will be submitted for discussion at the board's next meeting, in January 2014. The matter of Mohammad Amir's ban, which the PCB is looking to get reduced, will be discussed only after the new anti-corruption code is finalised, the ICC said.
The board also decided to maintain the current playing conditions for ODI cricket, bad light and the DRS.
An ICC chairman will be appointed and take over only after the board's annual conference in 2014, the ICC release said. The post of ICC's chairman was first adopted in 2012 and will turn the role of the ICC president into a ceremonial one while vesting executive powers in a new chairman. It is understood that the BCCI and ECB are seeking a dilution of power to be exercised by the new chairman, and prefer that his role be reduced from head of executive office in the ICC to that of a convenor.
The ICC board also approved an increase in the financial assistance provided to Afghanistan, through its Targeted Assistance Performance Programme (TAPP), to US$ 1.1m. This move was prompted by Afghanistan's qualification for the 2015 World Cup.
The 2014 Under-19 World Cup will be played in the UAE, from February 14 to March 1, the board confirmed.