International Cricket Council (ICC) chairperson Greg Barclay has kept his options open, saying he wouldn’t mind a second term in the hot seat if the board decides to re-elect him. “Yes, absolutely right. My term ends in November and I am eligible for a further two-year term… I am available for the term if the board wants to re-elect me,” Barclay told a select gathering of media persons during a virtual interaction from Birmingham on Wednesday. The chairperson has to be elected every two years, subject to a maximum aggregate term of six years (whether such maximum term is served consecutively or otherwise).
Barclay’s comments will put the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s mandarins in a quandary since it has expressed tacit interest in putting up its own candidate for the coveted post in world cricket. The official line though has been that “we will cross the bridge when we come to it”.
It is no secret that Barclay enjoys an excellent relationship with Board president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah and will never go against their wishes. Barclay, an Auckland-based commercial lawyer and an experienced company director holding board positions with various New Zealand and Australian companies, had initially been reluctant to continue in his position because of his professional commitments.
Both Sourav and Shah have been awaiting the Supreme Court’s verdict on its constitution which would allow them to continue for another three-year term in the BCCI. The matter, which was slated for hearing on Thursday by the apex court, has now been listed for August 17. Barclay’s continuation will depend on whether the BCCI backs him for another term. The BCCI enjoys supreme authority in the functioning of the ICC board and its opinion matters. India hosts the ODI World Cup next year and the BCCI is learnt to be interested in having an Indian at the world body’s helm during that period. Sharad Pawar was in the ICC hot seat when India last hosted the World Cup in 2011.
The ICC effected a change in its constitution during the just-concluded annual conference in Birmingham whereby a simple majority in its executive board will elect the chairman. This means in a 16-member board, a candidate will need the backing of nine directors to ascend the chair. The BCCI is slated to hold its annual general meeting in September and an indication of their motive could be ascertained then.
The ICC made it clear that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) will be released shortly with no curtailment in the number of ODIs or T20Is. “The FTP was presented in a final draft form and approved by the chief executives committee. In terms of getting it ready for publication it’s just about one or two queries around one or two series before we put it up in the public domain,” chief executive Geoff Allardice said. “Overall all countries are happy with the work that has been done on the FTP. It will be in public domain shortly.”