x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Board says it will stay in the UAE

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to keep its headquarters at Dubai Sports City, ending speculation that the game's governing body was set to relocate to London.

DUBAI // The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to keep its headquarters at Dubai Sports City, ending speculation that the game's governing body was set to relocate to London. And following a two-day board meeting, the ICC yesterday announced that the first Test cricket world champions will be crowned in 2013. The board agreed yesterday to set up a Test league - along with a one-day international league - to try to boost interest in the game amid the Twenty20 boom.

The major suprise, however, was the news that the ICC will remain in Dubai. ICC moved its headquarters to the UAE in 2005 from Lord's in England, where it had been based since its formation in 1909. However, in October last year some members floated the idea of returning to England. The decision came as the ICC Global Cricket Academy, adjacent to the ICC headquarters, was officially opened and Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive, said: "This provides welcome certainty for the staff and I am personally delighted that this matter has finally been resolved."

The board approved plans for a Test league to bring long-demanded context to the traditional format of the game. The league process will determine the top four teams who will take part in an ICC Test play-off, the first of which could be held in 2013. The board has also accepted recommendations for a one-day international league, the first of which could to run from April 2011 until April 2014. Other approved recommendations include reducing the 2015 World Cup to 10 teams and increasing the 2012 World Twenty20 to 16 teams from this year's 12.

"I am quite excited about the proposals that came through the chief executive's committee and have now been agreed to by the board," Lorgat said. "It will change the way we currently structure international cricket." arizvi@thenational.ae