After months of wrangling and division, some of it bitter, crickets world governing body, the ICC, finally has a new independent chairman.
Greg Barclay, a New Zealand commercial lawyer secured the two-thirds majority he needed from the 16 person ICC Board, with South Africa giving him the decisive vote which carried him over the finish line.
The Kiwi replaces India’s Shashank Manohar who ended his tenure with the ICC in July and beat off the candidacy of Singapore-based Imram Khawaja, who had been fulfilling the role in an interim capacity since then.
The election process has been a fraught one, with a per struggle between the larger cricketing nations and some of the smaller newer member countries resulting in deadlock for months, as various candidates were proposed but then failed to gain the necessary support.
Now Barclay has to try and heal some of the rifts that have been created, at a time when the game, like so many other sports around the world, is struggling to cope with the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
He has already indicated that his agenda will include attempts to protect bi-lateral international series, and he is also in favour of adding another global ICC event to the calendar, along the lines of a World Cup, an idea that was also proposed by Khawaja.
Barclay has a long association with cricket.
He had helped organise the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2015 in his role as a director, and, back in his native New Zealand, had once been a part of the board at the Northern Districts Cricket Association. He is also New Zealand’s representative on the board of the ICC but will now relinquish his seat to take up his new job, so that he can perform in an independent capacity.
In addition to his cricketing responsibilities, Barclay also sits on the board of a number of New Zealand and Australian companies.