Ireland welcomes Woolf report
Emmet Riordan (Irish Times)
CRICKET IRELAND has welcomed the findings of an independent report commissioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) into its own governance that recommends loosening the criteria for countries to gaining full member status.
In a 60-page report undertaken by former British Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, and delivered to the ICC on Tuesday, it is recommended the requirement to play Test cricket as a condition of full membership be removed and two associate nations be granted conditional full member status by July 2013.
Among 65 recommendations, Lord Woolfe proposes future ICC events should not guarantee qualification for the 10 Test-playing nations and that a more meritocratic qualification process be undertaken. Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said the review could prove “a revelation for the sport” if implemented. “We would wholly welcome the report, certainly in terms it recommends nothing more than what a mature sporting organisation should be, one whose governance is structured to cater for the needs of the entirety of the sport and hopefully it will be given all proper consideration,” he said.
The report recommends “as a priority” the admission by July 2013 of two new full members “to provide confidence that the current ‘closed shop’ no longer exists” but notes the “funding constraint is more problematic” and thereby adds “the financial consequence of admitting new full members be underwritten by the ICC until such time as a new funding structure is in place”.
The recommendations of the independent governance review will be discussed at the ICC’s next board meeting in April.