Dubai — The introduction of concussion replacements and a change to over-rate punishments were two of the major decisions made at the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in London, where the headline was the decision to suspend Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) with immediate effect.

The ICC board unanimously decided that the full member had failed to fulfil their obligation to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its administration for cricket.

ICC funding will be suspended, and representative teams from the country will be barred from participating at ICC events, putting their participation in
October’s Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier in jeopardy.

“We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said.

“What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked. The ICC wants cricket to continue in
Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC constitution.”

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Concussion replacements will also be introduced following successful trials in domestic cricket.

The player will need to be a like-for-like substitute, and any such switch will need to be approved by the match referee.

The change will come into effect from August 1, meaning the first game for which they will be in play will be the first men’s Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

Also significant is an alteration to punishments for maintaining a slow over-rate. Captains will no longer face suspension, but players face point deductions
in the ICC Test Championship for breaches.