The International Cricket Council (ICC) have elected New Zealand Cricket (NZC) director Greg Barclay as their new independent chairman.
The New Zealand-based commercial lawyer succeeds Shashank Manohar, who stepped down from the role earlier this year having served as chairman for two years. Imran Khwaja was made interim chairman until the election took place.
Barclay has held the position as a director of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) since 2012 and has represented the country on the ICC board, a position he will now relinquish as part of his new role.
His vast experience within cricket deepens after he was a director of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015 and has formerly held roles as a board member and chairman of the Northern Districts Cricket Association. Outside of the sport, Barclay has held a number of board positions in New Zealand and Australia and this year, was announced as the first independent chair of the International Rugby League (IRL), a role he has stated he will step down from.
“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,” started Barclay.
“I hope we can come together to lead the sport and emerge from the global pandemic in a strong position and poised for growth.
“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.
“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.”
Speaking to Reuters, Barclay insisted that the pinnacle tournaments of the sport must be played within the next three years, or cricket could face serious financial consequences.
“We have got to deliver he world events that are to come and those that are postponed,” Barclay told Reuters.
“Not just for the cricketing outcomes but there are commercial concerns as well.”
“If we fail to deliver all of those events, then we will be penalised by the broadcasters and we won’t receive the last of the ongoing payments. That, in turn, is going to affect the ICC’s ability to invest in its programmes and enable it to make distributions to members. Unfortunately, a lot of the ICC members are heavily reliant on those disbursements.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup in Australia and the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand postponed until 2022. The 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup in India has been pushed back until later in the year.
Author: Jake Wilkin