New ICC chairman Barclay: Rugby's loss is cricket's gain

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Auckland-based lawyer and sports administrator Greg Barclay was on Wednesday announced as new chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). He first joined the ICC Board in 2014, as a director, nominated by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).

Barclay graduated in law from Canterbury University and has a post-graduate business qualification from the University of Auckland, according to the website of Claymore — the law firm that he co-founded in 1998. It further states that he has “a general commercial practice with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and corporate and structured financing (including debt and equity raising)”.

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In 2016, Barclay was elected chairman of the NZC and in January 2020, he was appointed president of the International Rugby League (IRL), a position that he had said he would resign from after being elected as ICC chairman. He is the first independent chair of the IRL and his appointment came after wide-ranging governance review in 2018 and 2019.

Barclay has stated that he intends to push for major events to be hosted in countries that aren’t considered traditional cricketing powerhouses.

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“A major reason for doing that is if we want to grow the game, whether it’s in Asia or the Americas, but the USA being the logical place to start,” Barclay is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“Maybe we need to look at hosting a world event, maybe a co-host between the West Indies and the USA. but we do need to have a good look at the outcomes we’re trying to drive here. Those world events are an integral part of decision making.”

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Barclay also said that he doesn’t subscribe to the concept of a “big three” of India, England and Australia, though it is believed that the Indian cricket board backed him at the recent ICC election.

“There is no big three to me; they’re just members of the ICC. Sure, they’re really important members, they help drive a lot of cricketing outcomes, and to have them as hosts of events or as cricketing opponents is hugely beneficial. But they are individual members of the ICC, so they’re just as important but no more so than anyone else,” he said.

Barclay praised his predecessor Shashank Manohar rolling back much of the big three resolutions which were passed in 2014. However, he is of the view that India is a “slightly different case”.

“India are a slightly different case, they’re a huge cricketing force, we need to have them in the tent and with 1.3 billion people and the stuff they do around cricket. I think we just need to address some of their issues differently. There are a lot of positives to come out of what they do as well as any perceived negatives,” he said.



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