ICC annual conference to be held at Lords next year

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Dubai, Jul 10 (UNI) Revealing the unanimous decision by the Board, International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan today confirmed that the organisation's next year's annual conference will be held at Lord's.

This year's meetings were held in Dubai, the first time the ICC had moved its annual gathering away from its former London headquarters.

Detailing the arrangements for next year, Mr Morgan said, ''We had an excellent week in Dubai this year but I'm delighted to announce that the ICC Board has confirmed unanimously that we will return to Lord's for annual conference week in 2009.'' ''It is perfect timing as it will allow Lord's, the ICC's home for the first 96 years of its existence, to play a central role in our organisation's centenary celebrations, as 2009 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ICC,'' he said.

''That central role will involve not only the hosting of our biggest ever annual conference week, with all 60 Affiliate Members invited for the first time alongside the Associate and Full Members, but also the staging of matches in the ICC World Twenty 2009, including the finals of both the men's and women's events on 21 June,'' he added.

The centenary celebrations are intended to touch all 104 ICC Members at some point during the year and Mr Morgan said they would reflect all that is good about the game.

''The ICC's centenary will be a time to look back at the legends who have shaped the game over the previous 100 years,'' he said.

''It will also provide an opportunity to look forward and celebrate the thousands of volunteers who sustain the game's grassroots and, at the same time, the ICC will use the year to highlight the special spirit of cricket on and off the field of play,'' he added.

Looking forward to his two years at the helm of world cricket, Mr Morgan said he would be spending much of the next year meeting Members, their officials and their stakeholders.

''We are a members' organisation and so we need to know what type of ICC our Members want,'' he said.

''Do they want a toothless tiger that is only useful to blame for any failings when things go wrong? Or do they want a strong governing body invested with the power to run, and make decisions based on the best interests of, the game, and a body they can trust to do just that?'' UNI XC RKM AB PM1914

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