ICC’s newly appointed Chairman Greg Barclay has affirmed that he doesn’t subscribe to the concept of a Big ‘3’ and stated that all members should be treated equally. In terms of fixtures, he downplayed his representation in the media as an advocate for bilateral series stating that they are crucial.
After the stepping down of Shashank Manohar, the race for ICC’s new chairman was a two-horse race between Greg Barclay and Imran Khawaja, who served as the interim in the past four months. Barclay, after being voted as ICC’s new Chairman, on Thursday, affirmed that he doesn’t subscribe to the existing ‘Big Three’ concept in International cricket.
The Big Three – English Cricket Board, Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket Australia - are arguably three of the most powerful boards across the cricketing nations. However, Barclay believes that all members of the cricketing world should be treated equally.
"There is no 'Big 3' 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 accept 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 3'," Barclay said in a video on ICC-cricket.com.
However, during the voting procedure, Barclay was prejudiced as a ‘firm’ supporter of the bilateral series. Talking about that, ICC’s new Chairman admitted that bilateral series is the ‘lifeblood’ of cricket in all countries and shouldn’t be ignored for hosting more ICC events.
"They are pinnacle events (ICC tournaments) 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."
Through his vision, Barclay also stated that it would be crucial for ICC to look into athletes’ health and safety, with the plethora of fixtures around the globe, including global T20 leagues such as the IPL and the Big Bash. He added that creating a balance with the fans would be a key step to take the game forward, from ICC’s perspective.
"Then you 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 the end of the day, it only works if the fans want it."