The international governing body of cricket is the International Cricket Council (ICC). At the time of writing, the ICC has 10 full members, 37 associate members and 59 affiliate members. The ICC organises major international cricket tournament, most notably the Cricket World Cup.
The ICC is not the governing body of bilateral fixtures between members countries, e.g. Test matches. It does however appoint umpries and referees for sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals.
The ICC is not the issuer of the Laws of Cricket. For more information about the Laws of Cricket, please visit our page about the Marylebone Cricket Club.
History: name and membership
In 1909, the Imperial Cricket Conference was formed at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, England by representatives from England, South Africa and Australia. The Imperial Cricket Conference was intended only for the governing bodies of cricket within the British Empire.
In 1926, the three governing bodies of cricket in India, New Zealand and the West Indies joined the conference as full members. The governing body of cricket in Pakistan, a country established in 1947, became the seventh full member of the conference in 1953.
In 1961, South Africa left the Commonwealth of Nations, which in turn caused the governing body of cricket in South Africa to lose their membership in the Imperial Cricket Conference. Four years later, the Imperial Cricket Conference changed their name to the International Cricket Conference and adopted new rules that made it possible for governing bodies of cricket in countries outside the Commonwealth to become members. A new class of members were established – the Associate Members. Associates Members each had one vote on ICC resolutions, while Foundation Members and Full Members each had two votes. Also, all Foundation Members retained a right of veto.
The next full member to be admitted into the ICC was the governing body of cricket in Sri Lanka, brining the number of full members up to seven again in 1981. In 1989, another rule- and name change took place, turning the International Cricket Conference into the International Cricket Council.
After the abolishment of apartheid, the governing body of cricket in South Africa was welcomed back as a full member in 1991. The following year, the governing body of cricket Zimbabwe was added as a full member. In the year 2000, the governing body of cricket in Bangladesh joined the ICC as a full member, brining the number of full members up to ten.
Economy of the ICC
The International Cricket Council gets a majority of their income from the tournaments they organize, especially the Cricket World Cup. Their largest source of income is television rights and sponsorship rights for the Cricket World Cup; rights that brought in over 1,6 billion USD to the ICC between 2007 and 2015.
Bilateral international cricket matches, such as Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals, are not organised by the ICC and the ICC therefore has no right to sell television- or sponsorship rights for these events.
The ICC has created new events to provide additional sources of income for the council, such as the ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Super Series, but they have not been very successful.
As mentioned above, the Imperial Cricket Conference was founded at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, England back in 1909. The ICC had Lord’s as their headquarters for almost a century, before relocating to Dubai in 2005.
In 1994 the ICC formed a Monegasque company named ICC Development (International) Pty Ltd to protect their cricket revenues. This was prompted by the fact that not all Member countries had double-tax agreements with England. From 2001 and onwards, cricket revenues increased dramatically for the ICC which in turn led to an increase in the number of commercial staff employed by the office in Monaco. All the ICC cricket administrators remained in London, which created a cumbersome situation.
In order to bring all their staff together without having to pay UK corporation tax on its commercial income, the ICC elected to move both the ICC headquarters and the ICC Development (International) Pty Ltd office to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The ICC is nowadays registered in the British Virgin Island, and the offices in London and Monaco are closed.