'Serious breach': Test nation banned from worldwide cricket

Zimbabwe suspended by ICC over 'government interference' | ESPNcricinfo.com

The Annual Conference meeting also decided on introducing the concussion replacement system in global cricket and the first game in which it could be tried is the first Ashes Test.

Zimbabwe Cricket has been suspended with immediate effect, the International Cricket Council said in a statement on Thursday.

As a effect, Zimbabwe's ICC funding has been suspended and their representative teams are banned from participating in ICC events.

Zimbabwe Cricket will not receive ICC funding and the country's teams will not be allowed to participate in ICC events until the suspension is lifted.

"We must keep our sport free from political interference", said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

An official statement from the ICC has urged "that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months", with the matter to be considered again at a board meeting in October.

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The worldwide governing body has now taken the decision to strip Zimbabwe of full member status, which puts their hopes of featuring in the T20 World Cup next year in doubt.

In one other significant change made at the ICC's annual conference in London, captains will no longer be suspended for repeated or serious slow over rate breaches.

The Croatia Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have both also been suspended for continuing non-compliance with ICC membership criteria while the Moroccan Royal Cricket Federation has been expelled over continuing non-compliance. "The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC Constitution", ICC quoted Manohar as saying.

The ICC has also approved the use of concussion replacements in all forms of the game following a trial in domestic cricket.

They played eight Test matches in 2005 after the suspension was lifted, but would then not play another Test match until 2011. The player will need to be a like-for-like substitute, and any such switch will need to be approved by the Match Referee.

Also significant is an adjustment to punishments for maintaining a slow over-rate.

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