ICC Media Release
The ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today reaffirmed their support for the mandatory release of top Associate players from county cricket duty to take part in international matches and the priority of FTP events.
This followed discussions and correspondence between ICC President David Morgan and new ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat with Giles Clarke, the ECB Chairman, and ECB Chief Executive David Collier.
'The full commitment of the ECB to work with counties to support the ICC Board's mandatory release policy for Associate players is great news and very welcome,' said Mr Morgan.
'It will help to ensure that when the top Associates have ODIs against Full Members or compete in next month's ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Belfast they have their top players available.
'In terms of the ICC WT20 Qualifier, that will make sure the best teams reach next year's event, rather than the teams with the most top players available on that weekend in August, something that will then have a knock-on effect of enhancing next year's event.
'And with all county-contracted players available for a ODI against Full Members it will make the Associate side that much more competitive, making for a worthwhile experience for that Full Member as well as a great career-enhancing one for all the Associate players, even those playing regular county cricket.
'After all, runs or wickets against a top ODI team will obviously stand any player in good stead moving forward.'
Mr Clarke said: 'The ECB recognizes that nation versus nation is the lifeblood of cricket and its integrity must be protected at all costs
'One way of protecting that integrity is by ensuring that the top Associate players currently playing county cricket are available for their countries in all their mandatory commitments with Full Members and in prestigious events such as the ICC WT20 Qualifier. The ICC further recognises that this must also embrace and enforce the priority of all FTP events and ECB welcomes that position.
'Whilst we recognize the individual choice of players we will continue to proactively remind counties of their mandatory obligations in this regard and this will help to ensure our strong sport grows ever stronger,' he added.
The summary of the ICC's position on this matter is as follows: