GCB’s first choice loses historic ICC vote

A NEW ZEALANDER has taken over the International Cricket Council hot seat just as the Guernsey Cricket Board is set for a Kiwi to become its own figurehead.

Guernsey Cricket Board chief executive Mark Latter. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28952885)
Guernsey Cricket Board chief executive Mark Latter. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28952885)

However, could Greg Barclay’s ascent to the top of the global game be to Guernsey’s detriment?

The GCB, whose nomination of Carl Johnson as their next chair is set to be ratified at next month’s annual meeting, are not willing to speculate at this early stage as to the effect of Barclay’s appointment, but it is fair to say that Guernsey would have preferred Singapore’s Imran Khwaja as the new ICC chairperson rather than Barclay, who won this week’s election.

It was an historic vote for the ICC with it being the first time that a candidate for the chairmanship had come from outside the Full Member countries and Khwaja had impressed many over recent months as interim head having taken the reins when Shashank Manohar stepped down.

However, Barclay was elected to the position having gained the required 11 votes for a two-third majority in the second round of voting.

GCB chief executive Mark Latter admitted that Khwaja would have been their preference, although the result was not a surprise.

‘Greg Barclay is a very good guy and has been involved with cricket for a very long time, so we will see how things pan out. He is making the right noises about growing the game,’ Latter said.

‘With Imran, we have seen how he works during his time as acting chair. He is a safe, steady pairs of hands and, given his background of coming from Singapore, he is mindful of the needs of Associate Members. He was being touted as “more independent” because he does not come from a Full Member country.

‘If we had had a vote, it would have probably gone to him.’

After his appointment, Barclay said: ‘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.’

Tellingly, though, in an interview with ESPNcricinfo he has effectively rejected the suite of global events put to market by ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney earlier this year and if the number of global tournaments are cut in favour of bilateral series between Full Members, the smaller Associates like Guernsey could suffer as their funding comes from the pot accrued by world events.

‘The difference between, say, six and eight global tournaments in a cycle is fairly big in terms of funding,’ said Latter.

‘How it will all play out is a long way down the line yet. The current cycle runs until 2023 and we should receive the majority of funding due to us even though they still have to workout what the pandemic does to the finances.’

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