New Zealand’s Barclay elected new ICC chairman

Dubai, Nov 25 (IANS) | Publish Date: 11/25/2020 12:08:57 PM IST

 Greg Barclay, an Auckland-based commercial lawyer and director of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) since 2012, has been elected as the new chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“It is an honour to be elected as the chair of the International Cricket Council and I would like to thank my fellow ICC Directors for their support. I hope we can come together to lead the sport and emerge from the global pandemic in a strong position and poised for growth,” said Barclay as per an ICC media release.
Barclay, who is currently NZC’s representative on the board of the ICC, succeeds Shashank Manohar who stepped down earlier this year. He will step down from his position at NZC to replace Imran Khawaja at the helm, who had stepped in as the interim chairman when Manohar’s two-year term ended in July this year. Barclay was a director of 2015 World Cup and is a former board member and chairman of the Northern Districts Cricket Association. He is also an experienced company director holding board positions with various New Zealand and Australian companies.
“I look forward to working in partnership with our Members to strengthen the game in our core markets as well as grow it beyond that ensuring more of the world can enjoy cricket. I take my position as a custodian of the game very seriously and am committed to working on behalf of all 104 ICC Members to create a sustainable future for our sport,” said Barclay.
“I’d like to thank Imran Khwaja for his leadership as acting ICC Chair during a difficult period for the game and I look forward to continuing a close working relationship with him in the future,” he added.
No such thing as big three for me 
The concept of ‘Big Three’ doesn’t exist for new ICC chairman Greg Barclay, who firmly believes that both bilateral, as well as ICC events, can peacefully co-exist helping the game’s ecosystem. The ‘Big Three’ was a concept where India, Australia, and England were supposed to earn the lion’s share of the global body’s revenue.
In the run up to the election, New Zealand’s Barclay said a perception was created that he gives importance to bilateral cricket over “everything else” but that is far from the truth.
“There has been a lot of misrepresentation in the media around that (that I am in favour of bilateral cricket over world events. But the fact is, of course I am an advocate of bilateral cricket, it is the lifeblood of cricket in all countries...” Barclay said in a video posted on the ICC website.
“...Countries playing each other on a regular basis, sustained competitive relevant competition is what drives fan engagement. It is what drives the development pathways, it is a vital part of cricket.’
But that doesn’t mean that the world events are not as important, said the administrator from New Zealand who has also had BCCI’s backing. “The ICC runs world-class events. If you look at what happened with the women’s T20 all the way through the final, the ODI World Cup last year, they were amazing events.
“They are pinnacle events no doubt about that. I would need to say they (bilateral and global events) need to work in conjunction with each other, one can’t sit in isolation to the other. I am very conscious of the delicate ecosystem that crickets sits on.” He also warned against too much cricket.
“Then you are got leagues like the IPL and Big Bash. Then you have to look at the athletes’ health, safety and wealth which is paramount. We can’t expect them to perform day in and day out through the year.
“Again, we have to balance out that along with fans. At end of the day, it only works if the fans want it. Barclay time and again reiterated that a rong notion about his preferences have been fed in the media.
“They are a massive consideration around what we do so I would like to see those working together. I am sick hearing about the fact I am in favour of bilateral cricket over everything else. I want to see all of it work in perfect harmony,” said Barclay.
Referring to game’s powerful nations India, Australia and England, Barclay said he doesn’t believe in the “big three” concept.
“There is no big three as far as I am concerned. I don’t subscribe to it at all. All members are important and should be treated equally.
“I do accepts concerns of members could be different ... I do accept that some of those bigger counties can [provide certain outcomes to the ICC along the lines of hosting and revenue so again we need to take that into account and recognise that but there is no big three,” he insisted.

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