Rules are the foundation of every sport we play, regardless of where we play, the gullies, the grounds, or the turfs. They control how the game is played, create an environment conducive to fair competition, and make sure that sportsmanship is upheld. And at the pinnacle of the sport stands the ICC or International Cricket Council, the guardian of the gentleman's game.
The Imperial Cricket Conference, the first governing body of the sport, was founded in 1909 to serve as the sport's global governing body. The International Cricket Conference was its previous name before it adopted its present one formally in 1987. The ICC is the governing body and is in charge of setting regulations, staging competitions, and promoting the spirit of the sport internationally. It is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The council acts as the sport's all-powerful superpower, ensuring that all matches are played with the utmost fairness, integrity, and excitement.
1- Maintaining Fair Play through Rules and Regulations:
The organization is at the forefront of setting the rules and the laws that govern the sport. These rules cover all aspects of the game, including player conduct, equipment standards, playing conditions, and fair play. So, when you see players getting demerit points for any on-field related issues, it is because they have violated the code of conduct, which is set by the ICC. These sets of laws and rules come after thorough consultation with all stakeholders in the sport, the umpires, players, national boards, all are in line with the Spirit of the Game.
2- Breaking Boundaries: Championing Gender Equality in the Sport:
Additionally, the council plays a significant role in advancing gender equality in this beautiful sport. They accomplish this, in part, by planning prestigious competitions just for female athletes, including the Women’s T20 World Cup and the Women’s One Day World Cup. Millions of fans have tuned in excitedly to watch the gripping bouts thanks to the popularity of these tournaments. The 2017 Women's World Cup final at Lord's, in which the Indian team came tantalisingly close to winning but ultimately fell short, was a remarkable event. However, it was a key turning point for female’s participation as a whole since it elevated the sport's status as an exciting form of entertainment. The council has been instrumental in advancing women's cricket development and prominence, making it a more inclusive and well-respected sport for all.
Further, It is the job of this organization to develop and spark the growth of our beloved sport globally and expand the popularity of the sport to regions where the sport is not very popular.
The Member Nations:
With more than a 100 members from every continent, the ICC is a global sporting family. With cricket-loving countries like India, England, and Australia, it also includes up-and-coming powers like Afghanistan, Ireland, and Nepal. Each member nation's distinctive fan bases, customs, and history related to our sport contribute to the sport's rich history.
Recently, the Nepal National Team qualified for the World Cup Qualifiers after winning 11 out of 12 matches and finally beating UAE by DLS Method, which is a huge deal in the country's history and a feat of pride for everyone in Nepal. Players like Sandeep Lamichhane and Rohit Puadel have dazzled everyone with their performances and are an inspiration for every youngster in Nepal. This is a huge achievement for ZAP too, who have been close supporters and promoters of Nepal Cricket for years!
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It is genuinely amazing to see how cricket breaks through barriers and unites players from many times, cultures, and locations via a common love and passion for the sport.
All these member nations create a vibrant community of the sport, with on field rivalries and off the field friendships, it never fails to win hearts of millions of fans all around the world.
An example of this is watching India and Pakistan players chatting and laughing on the field after a match, praising each other’s performances, keeping aside the rivalries of the two nations.
Credit: ZEE News
The three biggest competitions in the sport, the World Cup, The T20 World Cup, The Champions Trophy (now defunct) and the World Test Championship are all organised by the ICC.
One of the biggest competitions in the sport is the ICC Cricket World Cup. It happens in both, The ODI and T20 formats. Every four years, the ODI World Cup is held, and the most recent one was in 2019, when England won it for the first time ever. The days that India won the World Cups in 1983 and 2011 were two of the biggest days in Indian sports.
The T20 World Cup is a short, quick, and electrifying tournament that happens every 2 years. The T20 world cup has seen some of the best moments in the sport’s history. One remarkable moment is Yuvraj Singh hitting 6 sixes in an over off Stuart Broad against England in the inaugural edition of the tournament. India went on to lift the trophy that year with a very young squad which earned them a lot of praise for what they achieved.
Another ODI tournament is the ICC Champions Trophy, which is a very prestigious trophy to have in the collection for any team, and to complete the treble of the most important pieces of silverware in the sport. Initially played as the Knock-Outs Trophy, it has evolved into the Champion’s Trophy, that we all know today.
Remember the final of the 2013 Champions Trophy between England and India?
What A Day for India it was!!! India kept their nerves while defending a small total in a match which was reduced to 20 overs due to rain, and with Dhoni celebrating like a kid after winning the match and becoming the only Captain to win all the three ICC trophies!
Credit: Times of India
The ICC now has a goal to have only one premier competition for each format. For that reason, the Champions Trophy is not a late tournament and the World Test Championship is the new pinnacle competition for Test Cricket.
The performance of teams and individuals internationally is quantified by the ICC Rankings, with different rankings for the Test, ODI, and T20 formats. They decide ranks, influence possibilities in the future, and have experienced fierce combat and controversy. These rankings give mystery and excitement to cricket, helping to create its competitive hierarchy and igniting rivalries between spectators and stakeholders, as well as players like Tendulkar and Kohli who are making their mark.
In 2011, India made history by becoming the first team to ever hold the top spot in all three game formats at once (Test, ODI, and T20I).
A 40 year old James Anderson still reigns supreme, with a regular appearance on the Test Bowler Rankings. He truly has to be the GOAT fast bowler.
To see full rankings, visit the official rankings page on ICC by clicking here.
Cricket has expanded and developed internationally thanks in large part to the International Cricket Council. It has played a crucial part in turning the sport into a cherished and well-liked sport through its creative approach to formats and rules, promotion of the game's ethos, and dedication to bringing cricket to new territories. The council is well-positioned to continue setting the benchmark for defining the future of this cherished sport for upcoming generations with its unrelenting emphasis on sustaining the highest standards of integrity and its vision for the game. Under the council’s leadership, fans worldwide can anticipate a great deal more memorable events and milestones.