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T-20 World Cup: Bangladesh on a tough wicket

ICC conference set to scrutinise readiness for event, balance between formats of game

Gulf News

Dubai: Bangladesh’s readiness as the hosts of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup will be a focal point of concern for the International Cricket Council (ICC) at the annual conference of it’s governing body, which got under way in London yesterday. The four-day conference will conclude on Saturday.

Nazmul Hassan, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), has himself expressed his displeasure over the slow work at two of the four venues, and is likely to address the ICC board on this matter. The tournament is scheduled to be held between March 16 and April 6.

The members are likely to discuss options, from setting new timelines or conducting further inspections to moving the tournament to another country, as viable alternatives. Bangladesh is no stranger to hosting global cricket events though, as the opening ceremony of 2011 ICC World Cup and a number of matches from the showpiece were held there.

The conference is also expected to see the Anil Kumble-led Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) raising the issue of member countries ignoring the ICC’s Future Tours Programme and sacrificing Tests to accommodate more ODIs or T20s.

The CEC is expected to discuss how best to maintain a balance between all three formats of the game. It will also discuss the new ODI rules which include fielding restrictions and the use of two new balls and suggest changes, if required, ahead of the 2015 ODI World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had said ahead of the just-concluded Champions Trophy that the new rules would pose challenges.

The ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) will also look to recommend stronger anti-corruption laws to its members in order to prosecute players, match officials and franchise owners found guilty of corrupt practices in domestic T20 leagues such as Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sir Ronnie Flannagan, the chairman of the ACSU, is expected to address these concerns during the conference and give recommendations to ICC members on how to curb the dangers of corruption in cricket.

These concerns come in the wake of various scandals relating to spot-fixing and betting in lucrative domestic T20 leagues like the Indian Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).