The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to back the application of New Zealand’s Greg Barclay over Singapore’s Imran Khwaja in the elections for the ICC chairman, a post evacuated by India’s Shashank Manohar after two terms in July this year.
Barclay and Khwaja are the only two applicants contesting for the chairman’s post and the 16-member all-powerful ICC Board is set to vote in the first week of December.
“The BCCI is more aligned with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and those who matter in Indian cricket board find Barclay as a more suitable candidate for the post. Also, Khwaja’s policy positioning isn’t exactly in favour of Indian cricket,” a senior official, privy to developments in ICC board, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“But one month is a big time in cricket’s administrative politics. If Khwaja can come around and probably be on the same page with the BCCI, you never know. Barclay, with his focus on bilateral cricket, is more acceptable to India,” the veteran administrator, who has seen many a board room battles, said.
There are a few matters because of which the current ICC deputy chairman Khwaja won’t find favour with BCCI.
Primarily, the role played by him laterally with Manohar to roll back the anticipated revenue model in which India, England and Australia stood to gain more.
The issue was up for vote and Khwaja and Manohar, had back then, collected enough votes to crush the BCCI.
Furthermore, the ICC in 2019, had drawn up a rough calendar for the 2023 FTP cycle and till 2028, each and every year, there was a senior men’s flagship event kept in that, the profits from which would have helped the smaller nations.
It is understood that the white paper ICC prepared had Khwaja’s implicit support. In fact, BCCI had sturdy objections to such a proposal. Nevertheless, in the post-COVID-19 world, each and every board, which has had multiple bilateral series cancelled, would like to squeeze in as many of them as there is handsome revenue generation through broadcasting rights.
That Khwaja will not have BCCI’s backing is also a given bearing in mind his juxtaposition to Pakistan Cricket Board head Ehsan Mani.
The BCCI and PCB have had their portion of differences in the ICC board.