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ICC opens up archive to broadcast rights-holders

The International Cricket Council has become the latest sports body to open up its archive of match footage and programming to its broadcast rights-holders amid the ongoing effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ICC said that the move will enable fans around the world to watch memorable cricket matches, highlights and ICC films with live programming disrupted due to the global pandemic. ICC events dating back to 1975, including the men’s and women’s World Cups and T20 World Cups, the Champions Trophy and U19 World Cups have been made available.

Additionally, fans will be able to engage with ‘Watch Parties’ on the ICC Facebook page, where some of the most iconic games in the history of the sport will be replayed in full.

Match highlights and tournament recaps will also be delivered through ICC social channels, along with the ICC website and mobile app, and fans can vote on the memories they want to see from the ICC archive.

The ICC’s announcement today (Thursday) follows similar moves this week by the likes of MotoGP, Uefa, LaLiga and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “We are facing unprecedented times as a sports industry and the need to connect with our fan communities is perhaps greater than ever. With no live cricket to unite our fans around the world we thought the next best thing would be to release our archive to broadcast partners so fans can enjoy some magnificent memories.

“We hope this move will help our broadcast partners replace cancelled sports fixtures with some highly engaging content and give cricket fans the opportunity to relive some of the great cricketing moments whilst we all stay at home.”

The footage available to broadcasters will include memorable matches of ICC men’s events, including those between rivals Australia and New Zealand, sub-continental adversaries India and Pakistan and Ashes competitors Australia and England.

Selected matches of the 1975, 1979 and 1983 men’s World Cup editions held in England, as well as most knockout matches of subsequent editions will be among the inventory available for broadcasters to show in full or as highlights.

Fans will also be able to re-watch matches of the Champions Trophy in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013, and five editions of the T20 World Cup from 2007 to 2014. Women’s cricket fans will be able to watch the 2009 and 2013 World Cups, along with matches from different T20 World Cups.

The official film, official highlights and behind-the-scenes programmes from the 2019 men’s World Cup, which ended in a dramatic victory for hosts England at Lord’s, will also be made available, providing fans with both match action as well as behind the scenes stories.

There will also be several other similar programmes from other ICC events while the programmes on women’s cricket include features on the stars of the 2018 T20 World Cup and 2017 World Cup.