Cape Town: A new commission to look into match referee procedures was announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) executive board on Saturday in an apparent victory for Jagmohan Dalmiya, India's cricket strongman.
The three-man commission announced by the ICC in January was scrapped and a new disputes resolution committee was set up to review the procedures adopted by match referee Mike Denness, who took disciplinary action against six Indian players during a Test match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 2001 November. The committee will be chaired by Michael Beloff, a leading English lawyer, and will include ICC executive board members Peter Chingoka of Zimbabwe, Bob Merriman of Australia and Wes Hall of the West Indies. Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), rejected the original commission, which included former Test batsmen Majid Khan (Pakistan) and Andrew Hilditch (Australia) and former judge Albie Sachs of South Africa. The ICC announced, however, that the board had accepted a detailed proposal by chief executive Malcolm Speed to revise the role of match referees. In future umpires will lay disciplinary charges which match referees will act upon. There will be a right of appeal against decisions about serious charges. Referees will be able to explain their decisions to the media, which they cannot do under existing regulations. The ruling by Speed to strip the third Test between South Africa and India at Centurion in November of its official status was upheld without an objection from any member of the board, according to a statement issued after the meeting. Speeds decision that South Africa won what became a two-match series by one match to nil was confirmed. "This matter has been a major issue for the ICC and its members over the past five months. It is a significant achievement that a solution has been reached by all directors that is both business-like and practical," said ICC president Malcolm Gray. Beloff will succeed Hugh Griffiths as chairman of the ICC code of conduct commission. As a member of the Court for Arbitration for Sport he has been involved with arbitration panels for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games and the 1999 Commonwealth Games. The ICC endorsed a proposal for a four-level disciplinary code to achieve great consistency in charges and penalties. Offences will be divided into four categories, with a varying severity of penalties. A first-time level one breach for dissent could be penalised with a minimum of a reprimand, with a maximum of a fine of 50 percent of a match fee. Repeat offenders will face level two charges and could be punished by a fine of a full match fee and suspension. Level four breaches, which would include threats and violence, will incur a minimum ban of five Tests or 10 One-day Internationals, with a maximum of a life ban. Paul Condon, director of the ICC anti-corruption unit, told a media briefing that international cricket had been free of corruption for the past year. He said he was confident next years World Cup in South Africa would be played "entirely on merit". The board meeting will be followed by a meeting of the Cricket Committee - Playing, under the chairmanship of former Indian Test batting great Sunil Gavaskar. The most far-reaching outcome could be an extension of the use of technology to include an option for on-field umpires to refer any decisions to a television umpire for review. If adopted, the new system will be launched during the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in September. The cricket committee will also discuss the future use of bonus points in One-day International tournaments and a proposal for meetings after Test matches between captains, umpires and match referees. A four-day workshop will be held near Cape Town from March 21 to 24 for the newly appointed full-time panels of five match referees and eight umpires.
Dalmiya set to test his strength at ICC meeting
Thatsspecial: Zim tour of India