ICC's nomination committee set to pick next CEO
The ICC's nomination committee, headed by its president Sharad Pawar, will meet in Mumbai on May 6 to conduct interviews with the four short-listed candidates to determine the successor to Haroon Lorgat, the outgoing chief executive officer. Though the identity of the four has been kept a closely guarded secret, it is understood that David Collier, the current ECB CEO along with Dave Richardson, who is ICC's general manager of cricket, were two names on the shortlist, picked by the global executive head-hunting company Egon Zehnder.
Pawar would be joined at the table by Alan Issac (the ICC vice-president), Julian Hunte (the West Indies Cricket Board president), Keith Oliver (Cricket Scotland chairman). Also present will be the pair of N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke (the BCCI and ECB heads), who were co-opted on to the nomination panel at the last minute.
Though the names of the two other candidates could not be ascertained, Collier has been tipped as a likely favourite at the outset only because of his extensive experience in various administrative and management roles at the ECB, where he has been the CEO for the last eight years. "He has been around for a long time and hence knows the game. He knows what is topical in the game and has been England chief executive for a long time, too," an ICC member board source told ESPNcricinfo.
But the source also pointed out that one possible blot against Collier could be his open embrace of Allen Stanford, the American businessman who is in jail in the USA after being convicted for fraud. In 2008 Stanford had joined hands with the ECB to promote Twenty20 cricket and Collier, along with Clarke, were in involved in drawing up the plans.
"Collier comes with the Stanford mark with him [though]. How can they even think of a guy who went into that deal? Some people in the ICC board don't trust him," the source said.
As for Richardson, the source said, despite the former South African wicketkeeper's clean image, the one big factor that was likely to stand against him was his inexperience and lack of skills in commerce and finance. "He knows the ICC environment fully well, but he is not skilled in the commercial and financial nous and those are important skillsets for any chief executive needs to run an organisation," the source said. "You need a man with knowledge in diverse fields."
The source felt that Pawar, who wielded control at one time at the ICC, would not be as influential in the selection process. Eventually, he felt, it would be the pair of Srinivasan and Clarke, who would control things at the selection table. "They will not keep quiet. These two believe in running the board as if they are the only executive. So they are likely to influence things," the source said.
Another factor that could figure in the selection process, the source said, was the recent decision by the ICC board to adopt one of the recommendations of the Woolf Report to split the role of the president into two - that entails creating a post of chairman and reducing the president to an "ambassadorial" role. "The danger is this split could cause the undermining of the role of the CEO," the source said. The chairman, the source noted, would then play the leadership role while the chief executive ran the corporate body. He feared boards like the BCCI and ECB could then overpower the future CEO.
According to an official from a different member country, he did not foresee any problem with if an independent was picked as Lorgat's replacement. "If the person is a capable, experienced candidate, he can fit into the role provided he understands the role," he said.
The candidate who will be eventually picked would be recommended to the ICC executive board at the annual conference, to be held at end of June in Kuala Lumpur, before making his name public.