The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Monday, announced that Zimbabwe and Nepal have been readmitted as members. The announcement came after the conclusion of a four-day ICC Board meeting.
A press release on the ICC website said, "Zimbabwe was readmitted by the ICC Board following a meeting with the ICC Chairman and Chief Executive, Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and Zimbabwe Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry and Gerald Mlotshwa, the Chairman of the Sports and Recreation Commission. They had been suspended in July 2019 following government interference in the running of the Board."
ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said: “I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Sports Minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket. Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC Board. Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel.”
Nepal has also been reinstated on a conditional basis following their 2016 suspension for breach of the ICC regulations which prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections. Election of a 17-member Central Working Committee for the Cricket Association (CAN) of Nepal were completed earlier this month and paved the way for the re-admittance of the CAN. Mr. Manohar added: “Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding.”
It remains to be seen if India's matches against Zimbabwe will go ahead. A few weeks earlier, the BCCI had announced that Sri Lanka will be playing three T20Is instead of Zimbabwe since the African country had been suspended.
The ICC also announced that the prize money for ICC women’s events will be increased by $2.6 million. The increase follows a rise in the revenue generated by the sport, a proportion of which is assigned to prize money. There will be a substantial increase in the money available for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 with the prize pot increasing to $3.5m from $2m in 2017.
The ICC Board also approved a $30.5 million funding allocation for Associate Members for 2020; a 12% like for like increase on 2019.
The Board also announced the establishment of a Governance Working Group to consider future governance structure of the ICC. The group will be chaired by Earl Eddings from Cricket Australia, and will comprise Greg Barclay (New Zealand Cricket), Tony Brian (Cricket Scotland), Ehsan Mani (Pakistan Cricket Board), Chris Nenzani (Cricket South Africa) and Ricky Skerritt (Cricket West Indies).