New Zealand Cricket have joined forces with the powers of the world game to send a stern warning to the International Cricket Council.

Board chairman Greg Barclay was New Zealand Cricket's representative at a recent meeting in Mumbai with administrators from India, Australia, England and South Africa, where the five on-field rivals found common ground over their opposition to the ICC's plans to prioritise ICC events over bilateral series' and competitions.

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Recent reports have suggested that the ICC are considering hosting a marquee men's tournament every year, potentially meaning the 50-over World Cup would be played every three years, and the Twenty20 World Cup every two years. Other ideas being plotted involve the expansion of tournaments, such as a 20-team Twenty20 World Cup, or inventing a new six-nation white ball tournament.

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However, more tournaments would lead to fewer bilateral matches, which has caused some angst for the leading nations, who earn significant revenue from their bilateral rights.

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The Times of India reported that a letter to the ICC was signed by the Indian, English and South African boards at the Mumbai meeting, arguing that the ICC's "arbitrary decisions taken without consulting the members who bring in the revenue" are causing harm to cricket.

Barclay confirmed the existence of that letter, and while NZC haven't signed it, he says they support the concept.

"New Zealand Cricket's been pretty clear in our view around the bilateral playing arrangements, we want to make sure from an international point of view that there is relevance and currency and interest in the international programme. We certainly don't want to be totally reliant on an ICC events programme," Barclay told Daniel McHardy on Radio Sport.

"The commonality in terms of the five is that we've been quite well voiced that we want to see our bilateral rights protected because we see genuine value in them. The Black Caps are playing well at the moment, they're reasonably well ranked, they're getting good opportunity to play against some of the better countries and we're fortunate that we produce reasonable revenue out of it. So absolutely we want to see those bilateral rights catered for."

New Zealand Cricket board chairman Greg Barclay. Photo / Photosport
New Zealand Cricket board chairman Greg Barclay. Photo / Photosport

Barclay revealed that a large portion of NZC's income this year will come from the Indian tour that gets underway tomorrow night at Eden Park – to the extent where if India had pulled out of the tour, it would have had a "dramatic impact" on the organisation's revenue.

With those figures in mind, he is eager for the Black Caps to continue to have regular home-and-away series' against the likes of India, Australia and England, and warns there could be problems if the ICC promote their tournaments at the expense of an acceptable number of bilateral matches.

"It's just going to do a disservice to the rest of the programme and is going to create a fair degree of tension and potentially conflict. It's going to take some work and some deft footwork to work our way through that."

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