With increasing number of cases of sexual harassment at workplace emerging by the day in the ongoing #MeToo movement in India, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to lay down strict rules and regulations, called ‘Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines’, to counter the menace.
According to a report in The Hindu, the issue will be discussed at its quarterly meeting in Singapore beginning on Wednesday.
ICC Chief Operating Officer Iain Higgins and Senior Legal Counsel Sally Clark wrote to Women’s Committee, Chief Executives Committee, Development Committee, and the ICC Board, citing nine incidents of sexual harassment in the last 18 months that have occurred within cricket around the world, and in particular, at international matches or ICC events.
The note said, “These types of incidents cannot be tolerated. Given that the next event on the ICC calendar is the ICC Women’s WT20 (in the West Indies from 9 to 24 November), which we consider to be an event at the higher end of the risk spectrum, it is recommended that the ICC policies are put in place, if at all possible, in advance of the start of this event.”
The policies are expected to be in place before the upcoming ICC Women’s WT20 which begins on 9 November in the West Indies.
In its meeting, the apex cricket body will propose to bar all players, team officials, umpires, journalists and individuals from other parties that are associated with the game accused of sexual harassment from participating in its tournament.
An individual facing allegations of sexual misconduct will not be able to enter the ground during any ICC event.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri too has been levelled with allegations of sexual misconduct in his previous job by an anonymous online post. The CoA sought an explanation from Johri and dropped his name as the board’s representative for the Singapore meet.
An ICC source told Mumbai Mirror that the Rahul Johri incident hasn’t prompted the governing council to come up with the idea of countering sexual harassment. The high-profile case of sexual harassment involving US gymnastics physician Larry Nassar, who has been sentenced to 40-175 years for sex crimes to around 160 girls came was a decisive factor that made ICC think of revisiting its policies.
The source added, “Making workplace free of sexual harassment is the sole intention, the policy we are proposing to put in place includes the rights of the women working in the ICC events. For instance, if a woman journalist is harassed during an ICC event, she will have prompt, easy and confidential process to lodge a complaint. It’s for everyone involved to declare that cricket will not tolerate sexual harassment.”