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Sri Lanka suspension lifted by International Cricket Council but lose hosting rights for U19 World Cup



Sri Lanka have had their suspension lifted by the International Cricket Council, allowing them to continue to compete internationally in bilateral cricket and ICC events.

Sri Lanka’s membership of the ICC was suspended with immediate effect for government interference on November 10, after Sri Lanka’s ministry of sport dismissed the Sri Lanka Cricket board and replaced it with an interim committee.

After a meeting of the ICC board on Tuesday, Sri Lanka were reinstated as member, with a statement released detailing that future funding to Sri Lanka Cricket “will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board”.

The statement also confirmed Sri Lanka will no longer host the ICC U19 men’s Cricket World Cup early next year, with the event now to be held in South Africa.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka Cricket released a statement denying government accusations it had mishandled preparations for the U19 World Cup, also denying accusations of transferring $2m from its accounts to third party accounts.

In July 2019, the ICC suspended Zimbabwe from all forms of cricket over concerns of government interference in the running of the game, lifting the ban nearly three months later following meetings with the country’s government and Zimbabwe Cricket.

Sri Lanka won just two of their nine matches at the men’s Cricket World Cup in India, finishing second bottom of the table. They are scheduled to tour England next summer for a three-Test series.

ICC bans transgender athletes from women’s game

Also emerging from the board meeting on Tuesday, the ICC approved new gender eligibility regulations whereby any male or female participant who have been through any form of male puberty will not be allowed participate in the international women’s game.

ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and is founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review.

“Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”

The review, which was led by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket, while gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual member board, which may be impacted by local legislation.

The regulations will be reviewed within two years.

Stop clock to be trialled in men’s ODI and T20I cricket

The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee also endorsed a plan to accelerate the development of female match officials, which includes equalising match day pay for ICC umpires across men’s and women’s cricket and ensuring there is one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series from January 2024.

They also agreed to introduce a stop clock on a trial basis in men’s ODI and T20I cricket from December 2023 to April 2024.

The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken by teams between overs. If the bowling team is not ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed, a five-run penalty will be imposed the third time it happens in an innings.

The new system is set to be in place in time for England’s three-match ODI series and five-match T20I tour of the West Indies next month.

Changes to the pitch and outfield monitoring regulations were also approved, including a simplification of the criteria against which a pitch is assessed and increasing the threshold for when a venue could have its international status removed from five demerit points to six over a five-year period.

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