Australian news July 8, 2010

Cricket Australia ready for next step on Howard


Cricket Australia's board will select its replacement for John Howard as the candidate for the ICC's vice-presidency on Friday afternoon - but don't expect a quick resolution. The already protracted negotiations are complicated by the fact the ultimate decision must be made with New Zealand Cricket, whose board will not meet for another two weeks.

While the passionate attachment to Howard has decreased and the likelihood of a repeat recommendation is slim, Cricket Australia's senior figures remain angry that their preferred nomination was denied without a vote by the ICC board in Singapore last week. Australia and New Zealand were given until August 31 to find another candidate and Cricket Australia's special meeting is the first formal step.

Cricket Australia's chairman Jack Clarke was "gutted" by Howard's veto in Singapore following opposition from a group of six Asian, African and West Indian officials. Clarke, who is in London, will lead the teleconference and is the most likely Australian nomination for the post, which includes an automatic promotion to ICC president in 2012.

"Technically John Howard is still the candidate and it's up to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to work out if they want to continue to support him," a Cricket Australia spokesman told Cricinfo. "Technically there is a chance he could still be the candidate until New Zealand Cricket's board meeting." Howard will stand by Cricket Australia's decision, which could involve giving New Zealand its choice.

The New Zealand board will discuss the issue on July 23 and a spokesman said the situation had not changed since the meetings in Singapore. Originally, New Zealand pushed for its former chairman Sir John Anderson to fill the position, but an independent panel eventually ruled in favour of the 70-year-old Howard. Last week's setback, which included six board members signing a letter opposing Howard's appointment, further complicated an already difficult process.

Cricket Australia's spokesman said he did not expect a public announcement from Friday's meeting at least until after Clarke had talked to his New Zealand counterpart Alan Isaac. Clarke, an Adelaide solicitor, did not seek the role the first time and would find juggling the extra commitments as difficult as being the diplomat required for such a delicate post.

If Clarke agrees to take on the job he would also have to make peace with the men who denied his preferred candidate. "You hope it doesn't affect your relationship but it obviously puts a block there for a while and makes you wary, I suppose," Clarke said after the Singapore meeting. "But we have to deal with all the member countries of the ICC."

Other Australian contenders include Mark Taylor, the former captain, while the deputy chairman is Wally Edwards, a batsman who played three Tests against England in 1974-75. Taylor would be reluctant given his expansive commentary and commercial duties and he also has long-standing links to Howard, who presented him with the Australian of the Year award in 1999.

It was Howard who called Taylor before he declared on 334 in Pakistan in 1998, the same score as Don Bradman's Australian record, and the then prime minister delayed a cabinet meeting so he could meet the players on their return home. South Australia's Ian McLachlan is another senior figure on the board with close ties to Howard after being his defence minister for two years in the mid-1990s.

Geoff Tamblyn, from Victoria, and the India-born Harry Harinath, the New South Wales squad doctor since 1990, also have significant experience but were overlooked the first time around. Six of the 13 members have been appointed since 2007, including Matthew Hayden.

The ICC position did not receive a batch of enthusiastic candidates in the first place and there is a general feeling that the job has become even less attractive over the past week. There have even been calls from Australians, including the former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, to pass the selection on to Pakistan and Bangladesh and then refuse to vote.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    John Howard was not only rejected by the whole of Australia he was also in the record books as the the Prime Minister who also lost his own seat in his electorate. Thus it goes to show that they did not even want him as their local MP leave alone as Prime Minister. Now the CA is shouting from their roof top as if he is the most suitable person to represent as the leader of the cricketing world. The Indians too were incorrect in saying that he is a museum piece as the Australian museums too may not want this racist. He is racist who will destroy the world cricket as in Australia. He was notrious for the following. 1.Children overboard issue 2.been Bush's boot licker , and telling everyone in Australia that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction , an illusion which he and his sons Boss(Richard Howard who worked as Intern in the White house at that time). 3.As PM of Australia ridiculing a Visiting cricketing team- calling Murali a chucker when SL visited Australia 4.DR Haniffs drama -

  • Bang on July 9, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    Welcome to lead the cricket world, Mark Taylor. A true cricketer gentleman and sensitive to other part of the world cricket.

  • Dilshan on July 8, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    go mark taylor! sport needs to be governed by people who actually have played it.

  • Rumesh on July 8, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    There is a strong possbility that CA will be trying desperately to get John Howard's wife for the ICC post. Gideon Haigh has decided that he will name his future son as John Howard Jr and Malcom Speed has opened John Howard fan club(Asian/African now allowed but free memberships to cry babies). CA please get over John Howard drama and appoint Mark taylor or R.Hadlee for the post.

  • Nikhil on July 8, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Get Dr Harry Harinath as a nominee. A man with plenty of cricketing knowledge.

  • S on July 8, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    As an Indian, Indian cricket team supporter and cricket lover in general, I am deeply saddened by this whole affair. It is even sadder to see fellow Indians who are supporting Howard's exclusion and have played straight into the hands of politicians. Cricket needed a strong personality like Howard who could have spent full time on the job. I can totally understand Indian media showing strong opposition to Howard becasue thats what BCCI expects them to do and if these media people did not write or say what suited BCCI, they could forget those interviews and cricket access they need in order to do their jobs. How is it right for full time Union agriculture minister to run BCCI as hobby where he probably spends an hour a month? Why media is not making it an issue that BCCI spends 8% of its revenue on cricket development in India? Why fans have to sit on concrete steps in open under 40 degree celcius and nothing is done to improve stadium facilities despite BCCI being the richest board?

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    its New Zealands turn this time i believe as well

  • John on July 8, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Why did several of the countries who objected to Howard not do so when their teams played his eleven during his prime ministership? We now have Mr Chingoka nominating Mark Taylor as the Zimbabwean candidate to fill the position nominally allocated to Australia. Absurd. I agree with popcorn and hope that CA stands firm and doesn't present an alternative candidate. Keep the board seat but forget about having a VP or President.

  • manoj on July 8, 2010, 13:35 GMT


  • Gilbert on July 8, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Why should Jack Clark be gutted by Howard's rejection? It is quite plausible that he knew what would be the outcome and is just acting surprised. He should be honest and spell out why Howard, a cricket tragic was given priority to Anderson who is a very capable administrator. The fact is that CA for some reason (IPL) has a dislike for the BCCI because of its powerful influence on the game. Most importantly being an European nation they can't bear being dictated by an Asian. Howard is a well known Asian hater in Australian politics and the thought that he could settle the score was part of the plan.

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