The ICC Cricket World Cup has emerged as the focal point of interest in the cricketing world at present. However, the suspension of Sri Lanka cricket during the World Cup also garnered global attention.
Sri Lanka, a team with a remarkable record of being two-time world champions, four-time World Cup runners-up, and six-time Asian champions, has regrettably been barred from international cricket due to allegations of political interference.
The ICC meeting on November 21 will involve a thorough discussion on the subsequent actions to be taken in relation to this suspension.
“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka.” The ICC said in a press release on November 10.
“The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”
It is a well-known fact that Sri Lanka is not the first country to experience a suspension of its membership by the ICC. In this article, we are focusing on 9 more countries that have lost ICC membership due to various reasons.
Zimbabwe became the first Test-playing nation to face suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC). The suspension was imposed on them by the ICC on July 18, 2021.
What were the reasons for the suspension?
“The ICC Board unanimously decided that Zimbabwe Cricket, an ICC Full Member, is in breach of Article 2.4 (c) and (d) of the ICC Constitution which imposes an obligation on Members to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its governance and / or administration for cricket respectively.” ICC said.
“As a consequence of suspension, ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen and representative teams from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events. The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October Board meeting.”
After a short span of three months, the ban was lifted.
In 2002, the Cuban Cricket Commission (CCC) was granted affiliate membership by the International Cricket Council.
Due to their inability to “demonstrate a suitable administrative structure to conduct its affairs” under ICC guidelines, they lost their ICC membership in 2013.
They are still unable to restore their ICC membership.
The ICC granted official Affiliate membership to the Russian Federation in 2012. However, in 2017, they were promoted to the status of Associate Member.
The International Cricket Council suspended Russia in 2021 due to their inability to meet the Membership Criteria and given a year’s notice to “demonstrate compliance or risk having its membership of ICC terminated with immediate effect.”
Cricket Russia’s membership was terminated by the ICC board on July 26, 2022, after their failure to resolve the issues at hand.
4 . Switzerland
Cricket Switzerland was granted affiliate membership by the International Cricket Council in the year 1985.
However, in 2012, Switzerland’s expulsion from the ICC occurred due to internal conflicts arising from the presence of two competing governing bodies vying for control over cricket in the country.
Switzerland’s repeated violations of the membership regulations set by the ICC further contributed to their expulsion from the Council.
But, Switzerland managed to reclaim its ICC membership at the 78th Annual General Meeting of the ICC in 2021, following a hiatus of 9 years.
In 1992, Brunei, an Asian nation, became a member of the ICC as an affiliate.
In 2013, Brunei received a warning due to their inability to comply with seven regulations set by the ICC. As a consequence, the international cricket governing body suspended Brunei in 2014 and removed it from the list of affiliate members in 2015.
The Royal Moroccan Cricket Federation, which serves as the official governing body for cricket in Morocco, acquired ICC affiliate membership in 1999.
However, in July 2019, the ICC made the decision to expel the Royal Moroccan Cricket Federation due to its persistent failure to meet the ICC’s membership criteria.
The Zambia Cricket Union became an associate member of the International Cricket Council in 2003.
In 2019, Zambia faced suspension, and after two years, their membership with the ICC was terminated.
The reason behind this termination was their failure to address multiple breaches of the ICC’s Membership Criteria, specifically related to their overall competence and governance system.
In the year 2000, Tonga, a small nation from the East Asia-Pacific region, became an affiliate member of the international cricket governing body.
In 2013, Tonga faced suspension from the ICC due to their lack of a full-time paid administrator.
Subsequently, the governing body decided to revoke Tonga’s ICC membership a year later.
It is worth mentioning that Scott Edwards, the current captain of the Netherlands cricket team, was born in Tonga.
9. South Africa
Although South Africa has yet to secure a World Cup victory, they are widely recognized as one of the most formidable cricket teams globally.
However, they too were affected by a cricket ban.
In 1970, the ICC suspended South Africa after a decision was made against the country’s apartheid policy by the council.
South Africa made its comeback to international cricket on November 10, 1991, following a hiatus of 21 years.