LAHORE - The International Cricket Council (ICC) concluded its five-day Annual Conference in Dublin with strong support for strengthening the ICC Code of Conduct and a range of new sanctions introduced.

A plan for stabilizing the financial, cricket and management  structures at Zimbabwe cricket was also agreed upon at the meeting taking place in Dublin, said the information made available here on Tuesday by the ICC.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: "It has been a productive week of meetings here in Dublin and it has been good to have all ICC Members in attendance at our 75th Annual Conference. I and my fellow Board directors were unanimous in supporting the recommendations of the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives' Committee to drive improved behavior across our sport.

"It is vital that there is a strong deterrent to both players and administrators to ensure we have high standards of conduct in our game. We have more than a billion fans and we must not give any of them any reason to doubt the high levels of integrity within our sport.

"I am satisfied we have mapped out a way forward to enable Zimbabwe cricket to get back on track. It will require significant changes to their financial, managerial and cricketing operations, along with support from the ICC, but we saw the latent potential of cricket at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe and this gives us the opportunity to build on that.

"I was delighted to welcome Indra Nooyi, our first independent female director to the Board and would like to thank her for her excellent contributions this week. The decision by my fellow directors to bring an independent director onto the Board was an important one and one, that with Indra in place, will be good for the game."

Zimbabwe cricket: The ICC Board agreed a package of measures to enable Zimbabwe cricket to stabilise its business and allow cricket to flourish in the country. Zimbabwe cricket have now complied with a number of conditions recently set by the ICC Board in relation to their financial situation.

As such, the Board confirmed a rearrangement of ZC's funding  that will assist with the service of its existing debts, whilst the remainder of the funding will only be released on a controlled basis. ICC management will work with Zimbabwe cricket to develop a plan for managing its cricketing, management and financial structures which  will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Sri Lanka: The Board agreed to allow a representative of the  Sri Lankan Sports Minister to sit as an observer to the ICC Board and Full Council, but requested that elections for Sri Lanka Cricket are held within six months, failing which SLC's Membership  status would be considered.

Code of Conduct: The ICC Board fully supported the Chief Executives' Committee and Cricket Committee recommended changes to the Code of Conduct. This includes the introduction of the following new offences and the change in level of some existing offences.

Offence, Level (2,3), attempting to gain and unfair advantage (cheating, other than ball-tampering, personal abuse. (Level 1), Audible obscenity, Disobeying an umpires instructions.

(Level 3, from 2) Changing the condition of the ball

"The maximum sanction for a Level 3 offence has been increased from 8 suspension points to 12 suspension points (equivalent to  6 Test matches or 12 ODIs)," said the information adding "Match

referees will now hear Level 1, 2 and 3 charges with a Judicial Commissioner only hearing Level 4 charges and appeals."

The Board also agreed to consider how Member Boards can be held  liable for its players' behavior with appropriate sanctions  to be imposed on boards when the accumulated number of offenses by its players exceed certain thresholds. All of the above will be incorporated into the Code of Conduct for adoption later this year.

The visiting team should also be provided with an opportunity to prepare for upcoming international matches under similar conditions to those they will play in during the series including the same standard and variety of net bowlers and training pitches. Teams should also be provided with the opportunity to mix socially.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "I'd like to thank the Cricket Committee and the Chief Executives for their commitment to improving player behavior in the game and supporting the introduction of new offences and greater sanctions."