London: The ICC on Monday agreed to a new 50-over qualifying league for 2015 Cricket World Cup which would allow Associate and Affiliate teams to make it to the quadrennial mega event.
This was decided at a routine meeting of the Chief Executives Committee here ahead of the ICC Awards Night.
"The CEC adopted an ICC Development Committee proposal that a new 50-over League be introduced which will serve as the qualifying programme for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015," the ICC said in a statement.
"The top two teams in the eight team 50-over League will qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup and the remainder of the teams will be joined by the teams finishing third and fourth in the Pepsi World Cricket League Division 2 (the top two teams will compete in the new League) to decide the remaining two qualifiers. The event will take place at a venue and on a date still to be decided," the statement added.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said the qualifying format "will provide exciting context for the new 50-over League with every one of the Associate and Affiliate teams able to make their way from Division eight of the Pepsi World Cricket League all the way to the ICC Cricket World Cup finals."
The CEC discussed the venue accreditation system and agreed to consolidate all the required standards into a new document. But, the CEC did not agree to a system of grading venues but decided to consider different standards for ICC events, FTP matches, Associate, under19 and women`s cricket.
The meeting also decided to further tighten the over-rates rule so that minimum time is lost during matches.
"The CEC supported the need to continuously improve over rates in international cricket and confirmed that the existing regulations must be strictly enforced," the ICC said.
The measures to improve over rates include players being ready to take the field quickly after breaks, that batsmen cross on the field and also that batsmen be ready when a bowler reaches his mark, bowlers and fielders must be ready when a batsman takes guard and improve the turn around time at the end of each over.
"No extra drinks within 10 minutes of a scheduled break and therefore must not delay the play; change of gloves/equipment should only take place between overs and therefore must not delay play; drinks breaks should not be longer than four minutes and substitutions must not delay play," the world body said.
Lorgat said, "The concern about over rates remain in Test match cricket and Match Officials, in conjunction with team managers and captains, should take appropriate steps to improve the over rates. It is something within our control and must be addressed. Stadia management will also be urged to ensure the efficient operation of the sightscreen and the monitoring of movement around it."
Reagarding injury prevention, the CEC received a presentation from the ICC Medical committee on their research work which included injury preventative programmes and on the safety of helmets which at times fail to prevent serious injury to batsmen.
"The Medical Committee will work with the helmet manufacturers to prevent the incidence of serious injury to the face and head. The three main areas of concern are that the ball can penetrate the faceguard, the faceguard breaks and causes facial injuries and the ball hits a part of the head not adequately protected by the helmet," the ICC said.
"It was encouraging to hear that the helmet manufacturers are working closely with our medical experts in a proactive way to ensure that helmets afford greater protection to the batsman. The ICC medical committee will continue to consult with the manufacturers on this important area of player safety," Lorgat said.