Tag Archives: Greg Barclay

Afghanistan women can continue playing cricket: ACB chairman

Newly appointed chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Mirwais Ashraf has said that his country’s women will continue playing cricket.

According to a report in the Tolo News Agency (TNA), during his introductory meeting with the ACB staffers and managers, Ashraf said that in order to remain a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it is imperative for the country to let Afghan women play the sport.

“Women’s cricket is one of the major requirements of the ICC, therefore, it is committed to obtaining it,” said Ashraf.

“Our girls will be playing cricket on a normal basis and we are looking to provide for their basic needs and all the facilities they need. Every employee must stay committed to the ACB and must strive hard to do well in their own areas,” he added.

Significantly, after Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August this year, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.

Last week, the ICC Board had appointed a Working Group to review the status of the ACB and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the recent governmental changes in the country.

The group comprised of Imran Khwaja (Chair), Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja and is likley to report back to the Board over the coming months.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chair Greg Barclay had said: “The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward. We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our members in their efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government.”

“Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he had added.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

“Our goal is to see men and women playing cricket in Afghanistan. Our view is that the best way to achieve that is to stay closely connected with the cricket board and try to influence [things] through the cricket board. They are on a steady trajectory of development there and we would like to see that continue,” Allardice had said.

“How other members react to their bilateral arrangements with Afghanistan is up to them. We will be working through their situation at both board levels. They are the agent for developing cricket in their country,” he had added.

All teams will travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy: ICC

It will be after 29 long years when an ICC event will mark a return to Pakistan as the International Cricket Council (ICC) had last week announced Pakistan as the host for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

However, despite being announced as the host for the prestigious tournament, there has been uncertainty over the participation of teams in the tournament, particularly India.

Bilateral cricket between the two neighbouring nation has been suspended since a long time and the two teams only square off in ICC events. However, with the tournament in Pakistan, it is not clear whether the Men in Blue will travel to its neighbouring country.

On the other hand, international sides have largely stayed away from touring Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, which had killed six policemen and two civilians.

ICC chairman Greg Barclay was asked if the global body was confident teams would travel to Pakistan to which he replied: “From what we can see, absolutely. We wouldn’t have awarded the event if we didn’t think Pakistan was capable of hosting it.

“I’m sure, as with all countries, they will put together appropriate security plans to deliver the event. We’re comfortable and confident it will go ahead,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on the possibility of India’s chances of visiting Pakistan Barclay admitted that it would be a “challenging issue” and said that the ICC is not responsible to control the “geopolitical forces”. He however, hoped that the sport rekindles the cricketing ties between the two nations.

“Yeah, we know it is a particularly challenging issue to work through, but from my point of view, I cannot control geopolitical forces. I just hope cricket can be a force to help improve relationships between countries. That is the one great thing sport can do is to help people and nations come together. If it can help in contributing to that, then it is fantastic,” he expressed.

Recently, New Zealand and England had called off their Pakistan tours due to security concerns.

Few days back, Indian Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur had said that the Indian government and the home ministry will make a call on India’s participation when the time comes.

“When the time will come, the Indian government and the home ministry will take a decision. During the international championships, all the factors are looked upon,” Thakur said.

“Even in the past, many countries have refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. As you all know, many players were even attacked while playing over there and that’s a big issue to be dealt with,” he added.

Significantly, Pakistan had last staged an ICC event in 1996 when they co-hosted the 50-over World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and it will now be after 29 years when an ICC event returns to the cuntry.

ICC unveils its new Global Growth Strategy

International Cricket Council (ICC), the global cricket governing body, has unveiled its global growth strategy which places women’s cricket firmly at the heart of its long-term ambitions.

The strategy which has been developed in partnership with ICC Members is aimed at strengthening, growing, and protecting the game with the vision of more players, more fans and more nations enjoying cricket. The strategic pillars of strengthen, grow, and protect will be underpinned by digital transformation of the sport to support Members to connect directly with fans and build capacity.

To strengthen the sport and drive greater engagement from what already exists, the ICC will deliver competitive cricket with context for all Members, invest in and grow women’s cricket, build cricket among Associate Members and deepen fans’ connection through digital transformation, including the ongoing development of ICC.tv, the direct to fan platform and with the development of a mobile game.

On the other hand to grow the sport through more people and more places, the ICC will focus on getting more people playing and engaging with cricket through its criiio entry level programme and enhanced education programmes for coaches, officials, and curators. Female participation will be prioritised as will key identified new markets to drive targeted growth, the first of which will be the USA. Olympic inclusion is also considered a central plank of growing cricket globally.

Meanwhile in order to protect the integrity of the sport and inspiring trust among fans is the third pillar of the strategic framework. Providing an environment that is safe for all participants and brings to life the spirit of cricket will be a key area of focus along with the continued commitment to leading the way in delivering a corruption free sport.

Additionally, the ICC Cricket 4 Good programme will be developed to harness the power of more than one billion fans to build a better future.

In addition to the framework, six strategic priority projects have been highlighted in the strategy as the sport looks to build and consolidate on recent success.

Commenting on it, ICC Chair Greg Barclay said: “This strategy is for the whole sport, and it will enable us to strengthen what we currently have, particularly around the women’s game and ensuring we’re delivering competitive cricket with context for all our Members. It also provides us with the opportunity to look at growing the game and getting more people playing and engaging with cricket through new markets and Olympic inclusion.”

“Finally, it identifies the importance of protecting the integrity of our game and inspiring trust among fans and using the power of cricket to build a better future. This framework is something on which the whole sport is aligned and I’m looking forward to working in partnership with our Members to create a successful and sustainable future for cricket,” he added.

Meanwhile, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said: “Our strategy is focused on more players, more fans and more nations enjoying cricket and we believe by working closely with Members we can build on the strength of what we already have but also grow the game in new markets.”

“I am particularly excited by the commitment of everyone in the sport to investing in and growing the women’s game. Over the last four years we have invested in ICC women’s events and witnessed 86,174 people in the MCG to watch the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 which is the best illustration yet of our research that tells us that two thirds of cricket’s 1 billion plus fans want to see more women’s cricket. Digital transformation will play a crucial role in delivering the success of our strategy as we look to attract and engage more fans and build digital platforms that enable our Members to create direct relationships with 300 million fans by 2032,” he added.

ICC announces to launch 100 percent Cricket Future Leaders Programme

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced to launch the next phase of the 100 per cent cricket campaign, with the launch of the 100 per cent Cricket Future Leaders Programme — a mentorship programme for all female future leaders in cricket as part of their long-term commitment to accelerating the growth of women’s cricket and women in cricket.

It is designed to support emerging female talent in cricket across administration, coaching and officiating, broadcast, and journalism as well as marketing, digital and technology and events. The programme is designed to address the low percentage of women in leadership positions in global cricket and build a pipeline of new female leaders in cricket.

Commenting on the programme Greg Barclay, Chairman ICC, said in a statement: “Cricket is a genuinely inclusive sport for all, but that is not widely reflected in how our game is led globally so it gives me great pleasure to launch the Future Leaders Programme.”

“This is a practical approach towards solving the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in our sport to enable us to build a strong pipeline of future female leaders and ultimately inspire more women to take up roles in cricket. The response from the global cricket community has been fantastic as you can see from the mentors who have enthusiastically committed to bringing their knowledge and expertise to the programme and I am personally looking forward to being part of it,” added Barclay.

The application is open for all female future leaders of cricket to apply and will be matched with a mentor to support their development growth.

The role of a mentor is to unlock their mentee’s potential and help them to be at their best. This could include being a confidential sounding board, providing advice, guidance, and connections to reach their potential.

The philosophy of the 100 per cent Cricket — Future Leaders Programme is to be participant lead, with the ICC acting in support to match the mentees with suitable mentors and provide guidelines and evaluation frameworks for the participants and opportunities to network and interact.

The programme will last for a period of 6 months, and include a kick-off workshop with Belinda Clark, followed by monthly check-ins and a 3-month review with the mentees and mentors agreeing to the frequency and method of communication.

Commenting on her involvement Belinda Clark AO said: “I have experienced and witnessed some amazing leaders within cricket over the last 20 years. It is pleasing that these quality leaders are willing to help females starting out on their leadership journey. We have made great progress, but cricket understands it has a big responsibility to be more inclusive across all areas of the sport.

“The breadth of this program is unique — not only covering the areas of administration, coaching, officiating, governance, broadcast, digital but also matching people across borders to make it a truly global experience. I applaud the ICC for undertaking this program to facilitate greater diversity in all areas of the game. I encourage emerging female leaders involved in cricket to think about this unique opportunity and submit an application to be involved.”