The new ICC Chairman Greg Barclay doesn’t believe in the concept of ‘Big Three’. “There has been a lot of misrepresentation in the media around that (that I am in favour of bilateral cricket over world events. But the fact is, of course, I am an advocate of bilateral cricket, it is the lifeblood of cricket in all countries,” Barclay said in a video posted on the ICC website.
“Countries playing each other on a regular basis, sustained competitive relevant competition is what drives fan engagement. It is what drives the development pathways, it is a vital part of cricket. But that doesn’t mean that the world events are not as important,” said the administrator from New Zealand, who has also has BCCI’s backing.
“The ICC runs world-class events. If you look at what happened with the women’s T20 all the way through the final, the ODI World Cup last year, they were amazing events.
“They are pinnacle events 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 from the other. I am very conscious of the delicate ecosystem that crickets sits on.”
He also warned against too much cricket. “Then you are 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 throughout the year. Again, we have to balance out that along with fans. At end of the day, it only works if the fans want it.”
“They is a massive consideration around what we do so I would like to see those working together. I am sick of hearing about the fact I am in favour of bilateral cricket over everything else. I want to see all of it work in perfect harmony,” said Barclay.
“There is no big three 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 three,” he insisted.