Artificial pitches now allowed for T20Is
When the ICC announced that all their members would be given T20I status, some feared that unless the regulations around the minimum standards of grounds were reduced greatly, the change would be little more than window dressing for the majority of members.
And whilst the exact rules have not yet been decided, it is now clear that artificial pitches can now be used for T20Is. The ongoing women's tournament in Botswana and the upcoming Women's South American Championship in Colombia are being played on artificial pitches, with the matches being classed as full women's Twenty20 internationals.
An ICC spokesperson said that the "underlying philosophy of awarding T20I status to all members is that we make it as easy as possible for them to actually play T20Is which includes stripping back the venue requirements."
Non natural turf pitches do have a history in full internationals, with the earliest home Test matches for South Africa and Pakistan being held on matting wickets. Denmark and the Netherlands hosted women's ODIs on artificial pitches in the 1980s and 1990s.
The change in policy for T20Is doesn't appear to apply for other forms of the game though. Division Three of the World Cricket League, scheduled for Oman in November will run for longer than the usual 8 day schedule as Oman have only two grounds with natural turf wickets. Two games will be played each day instead of the usual three.