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Four important global women’s events will have confirmed hosts at the ICC’s annual conference

Four important global women’s events will have confirmed hosts at the ICC’s annual conference
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During their annual conference, which begins this weekend in Birmingham, the ICC will announce the hosts for four major international women’s sporting events in the years 2023–2027. Two T20 World Cups, one 50-over World Cup, and one T20 Champions Trophy are among the four tournaments that make up the half-dozen events that the ICC just finalised as part of the women’s rights, which for the first time will be auctioned separately from men’s rights.

A working group made up of ICC directors will select the host sites for the women’s events from the shortlist of submitted proposals. ESPNcricinfo has gathered that for the four events, ICC has received 16 offers from seven different nations.

The ICC will make the final decision at the meeting on July 26 based on the recommendations of the working group, which includes former New Zealand fast bowler Martin Snedden, who is also chairman of New Zealand Cricket, former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt, and former England women’s captain Clare Connor, who is also acting ECB CEO. The Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting will kick off the annual conference on July 24. The Finance & Commercial Affairs committee meeting will follow on July 25, and the annual general meeting will follow the board meeting.

The ICC has opted to separate the rights for men’s and women’s events and sell them in various regions individually, in contrast to prior cycles where women’s rights were sold as part of the consolidated rights package. The six women’s events have 103 matches in total, and the rights were sold for three packages over a four-year period: TV, digital, TV and digital combined. In order to maximise financial gains, the ICC also opted to sell the TV and digital rights separately as part of the new plan. As a result, a rights tender for men’s events for the most profitable market, India, recently went on sale. The successful bidders will be revealed in early September.

International cricket against T20 leagues

The primacy of international cricket and if it is in danger from the proliferation of domestic T20 leagues is one of the important topics the CEC can potentially consider. The IPL has an expanded two-and-a-half-month window in the nearly finished edition of the ICC’s next cycle of FTP (2023-27), and the Hundred and BBL both have home-season windows.

Although the ICC has little direct influence because member nations determine the bilateral series and T20 league dates, at least one Full Member has publicly voiced worry about franchise-based events encroaching on the international calendar. A working group should be established to address the issue, the PCB requested in a letter it recently sent to the ICC. The letter stated that the PCB was “little concerned that the proliferation of domestic leagues around the world is sucking time out of the international calendar.”

ICC will probably also talk about Afghanistan’s future

The future of Afghanistan’s cricket is a topic the ICC is expected to consider as well. The board established a working committee to watch and evaluate cricket in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan last year after the Taliban took control of the country. Understanding if women’s cricket was indeed in “peril,” as former Afghanistan Cricket Board member Hamid Shinwari claimed to ESPNcricinfo last year, was a key component of the working group’s mission.

When Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s culture commission, told SBS News that women shouldn’t play cricket because “their face and body will not be covered,” there were questions raised about Afghanistan’s future in international cricket. In response, Cricket Australia even postponed the Test match against Afghanistan that was slated for Hobart in November.

Afghanistan joined the ICC as a Full Member in 2017 despite not having a women’s national team. At the time, the exemption was conditional on ACB making investments in the growth of women’s sport. The ACB had promised to award 25 female players contracts in November 2020 in an effort to improve their game, but Tailban’s entrance put a stop to all the work.

Imran Khwaja, Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo, and Ramiz Raja are the members of the ICC working group on Afghanistan, and the committee will provide an update to the board.

The ICC chairman election, which will likely take place in November when the current chair Greg Barclay’s first term finishes, is also on the conference programme. In addition, the members intend to improve FTP further; a final version is not expected until after the annual conference.

Topics #annual conference #global womens events #hosts #ICC

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