Cricket’s governing body on Thursday banned countries from appointing politicians to national cricket boards, vowing to free the sport from undue government influence.
The International Cricket Council told a media conference in Hong Kong that it had made the decision to uphold ‘the important principle of free elections and the independence’ of the sport.
"It was agreed that all member boards must implement the provisions before annual conference June 2012 and a further 12 months – to June 2013 – would be allowed before any sanctions be considered," the ICC said in a statement issued in Hong Kong.
The reform, which allows the ICC to suspend a member country in the event of government interference in the running of a national cricket board, will be hugely controversial in Pakistan, where the president is the cricket board’s patron. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will also be hit by the change.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could not immediately be reached for comment.
Chairman Ijaz Butt has been criticised by former players, politicians and media for being a political appointee of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
The PCB has already sent a legal notice to the ICC on the amendment and has threatened legal action if the constitution is changed.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ICC’s full council after four days of talks between the chief executives’ committee and executive board at glitzy hotels in downtown Hong Kong.
"This is a significant step towards achieving best practice and together with the independent governance review, I am excited by the commitment of the ICC to introduce best possible corporate governance," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.(AFP)