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Howard fails in ICC vice-president bid

Peter English

June 30, 2010

Comments: 143 | Text size: A | A

Australia’s prime minister John Howard and his wife Janette watch Australia take a commanding lead, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, December 27, 2006
Singapore sling: John Howard will not be joining the ICC following a decision at its board meeting on Wednesday © Getty Images
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The ICC has demanded another vice-presidency candidate after John Howard's nomination was rejected by its executive board in Singapore. A move which began with members from six countries signalling their intention to block the appointment on Tuesday turned into an official rejection of Australia's former prime minister today.

The ICC confirmed the decision this afternoon following an executive meeting that was supposed to formalise Howard's election. No vote was taken and Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket were asked to re-nominate a candidate by August 31.

The ICC said in a statement: "Following lengthy consideration it was recognised that the nomination put forward by Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket did not have sufficient support within the ICC board."

Cricket Australia's chairman Jack Clarke and his New Zealand Cricket counterpart Alan Isaac said in a joint statement they were "deeply disappointed" after supplying "the best possible candidate". "We jointly nominated Mr Howard as he possesses significant leadership and administrative skills," they said. "We believe cricket needs to continue to seek excellence and dispassionate independence in the game's global governance.

"We were delighted that the most senior world figure ever considered for this role agreed to accept the nomination. We remain convinced it is reasonable for his nomination to be supported by the ICC executive board and we are deeply disappointed by the position taken."

Initial rumblings from Zimbabwe and South Africa in April became an all-conquering alliance when India signed up along with their subcontinent neighbours this week. It leaves the ICC without a deputy to be paraded alongside India's Sharad Pawar when he takes over the presidency from David Morgan this week.

The position taken by the six board members on Tuesday night was believed to be an attempt to force Howard to withdraw his nomination before the meeting. Howard remained in the race but lost the one-man raffle at the Raffles convention centre, ending the 70-year-old's cricket administration career before it was allowed to begin.

Seven votes were required to seal the deal but Australia, New Zealand and England were the only supporters of Howard before the meeting among the game's 10 major countries. The six members signed a letter on Tuesday effectively stopping the appointment, but Zimbabwe, the most strident back-room protestor of Howard's nomination, was not one of them.

During Howard's 11-year term as prime minister he was critical of Robert Mugabe's regime and was responsible for banning the team from touring the country in 2007. Howard visited Zimbabwe cricket officials last week in an unsuccessful effort to smooth relations with the board. Once India turned from Howard there was no chance of him gaining enough support, with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh believed to have sided with their all-powerful neighbour.

Howard was the joint nomination of Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket for the role as part of the rotational system employed by the ICC. Under the regulations, Howard would have assumed the presidency in 2012 after Pawar's two-year term.

While the two countries have remained committed to Howard, his selection was complicated by New Zealand's wish to choose Sir John Anderson, its long-term respected administrator. An independent committee was charged with breaking the deadlock and once Howard emerged as the winner the boards were publicly united. However, the delay provided fuel for the opponents to question whether New Zealand had been out-muscled by Australia.

Confirmation of Howard's role - he was nominated in March - was expected in April, but Zimbabwe raised their concerns through South African officials outside an ICC meeting in Dubai. The issue dragged on and Clarke and his chief executive James Sutherland were still lobbying for support over the past couple of days.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by Mahesh_AV on (July 5, 2010, 14:11 GMT)

I do not know what the so called "Indian Corruption" have to do with this. If this is Indian corruption, it is also the corruption of South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangaladesh and Zimbabwe!! Get your facts right. It is not fair to blame India for this defeat. Halfacow had better get his/her words out of the right side of the half!!

Posted by halfacow on (July 2, 2010, 17:17 GMT)

What a joke. Cricket is dead. Indian corruption reigns supreme again.

Posted by   on (July 2, 2010, 9:30 GMT)

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND AND SOON IT WILL BE ENGLAND'S TURN...TIC,TOC,TIC,TOC....

Posted by   on (July 2, 2010, 9:03 GMT)

Any official nominated by a country for the Chairmanship of ICC, should have handled Cricket Administration in the respective country at a higher level. If not the appointment of a person not handled cricket directly, at this juncture will create a precedent, and if the other countries follow suit in the future, it will be the end of the ICC.

Posted by bowzer on (July 2, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

Lets cut to the chase. John Howard's past has caught up with him. If this is the attitude other countries have towards him, he would have been more divisive for the game, when his role is to bring the game together. So, for the good of cricket. like it or not, the just isnot the right person. He needs to go and get some advice from Steve Waugh, do more charity work, promote the game. Then come back and maybe other countries will reconsider. At this stage, John Howards past is all the other counties have to go on by.

Posted by   on (July 2, 2010, 4:39 GMT)

As a distant view - John Howard's rejection carries an air of paritsanship and unfortunate for a man with considerable stature - if I understand he is also a cricket enthusiast. I think he could have made a good combination with the Indian President in rising obove while cricket is mired with some intristic problems that has a toll on the game if moreso individual talent.

As unfortunate, this may not go without sour taste and familier sembelance of East -V- West. Can be resolved still bringing him in?

Posted by jillpreston on (July 2, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

And then there was a time in the Australian Parliament when JH had 7 votes, and Labor had 3. JH stepped down and let Labor choose the primeminister, because 3 is greater than 7.

Posted by TinyPop on (July 1, 2010, 14:52 GMT)

I wonder if Peter English, Hague, Speed, Clarke et al wuld shower BCCI with compliments if BCCI had chosen to be neutral or in favour of Howard. It is true BCCI is a financial giant, there may be a lot of discrepancies. But surely you know that theye were not exhibiting their muscle power against CA. Clearly Howard was disliked by at least half of the member countries. Do you think he would have been a popular President. Come on CA grow up. Get somebody who would be welcomed and respected, he will be voted in. CLEARLY YOU HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA IN PRESSING FOR HOWARD, or else you are too childish and arrogant......

Posted by 78aj on (July 1, 2010, 11:02 GMT)

John Howard was only echoing what all australians and many others thought about Murali.... he actually was thwarting the rules, that's why they were changed if you recall. Also anyone who actually supported the Mugabe regime are the ones you should be lambasting, not Howard. John Howard stood up for what is right at the time, alot of others did'nt have the guts. Where did all these racism claims come from? you guys are making it up, please stop spreading such lies. Howard is a very honorable man and will stand up for cricket on the world stage, some of the sub continent administrators are very scared of him because they have something to hide, Howard would only do things in the greater interest of cricket, not for himself unlike many we see today. If cricket is what you love then Howard is the man, if you want to continue too see corruption, bribery and matchfixing in cricket then continue with your ranting.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

Lets show Australia we need someone else, goto http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=136170009734294&ref=ts and show your support for a differant candidate than howard.

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