T20 cricket to become normal sport
The ICC today announced the radical decision that T20I cricket will, like every other sport, allow all members of the governing body to take part.
This highly progressive step of doing what literally every other sport does was the main announcement amongst several today after the conclusion of the latest batch of ICC meetings in Kolkata.
Women's teams will all be allowed to play T20Is from 1 July this year, whilst men's teams will need to wait until the new year.
The ICC has said that "new minimum standards will be introduced making it as easy as possible for Members to play international cricket in a sustainable and affordable way". These standards will need to be a lot lower than the current minimum requirements for grounds if this change is to be anything other than window dressing for the majority of ICC members.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said "We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we’ll do this and removing restrictions and having all Members ranked is a positive step forward."
Of course associates also have ambitions in the other two formats of the game, and they will have noticed the absence of any details of the future of the World Cricket League and Intercontinental Cup, currently both under review.
Whilst the usual people who go on about the "sanctity of the record books" will no doubt object to this change, the ICC should be congratulated for a step away from the antiquated notion of status. The question now arises though - if anyone can play a T20I, why not allow anyone to play ODIs and Tests?