ICC news June 30, 2010

Speed slams 'political' boards over Howard

Cricinfo staff

Malcolm Speed, the former ICC chief executive, has slammed the boards that have blocked John Howard's nomination as the next ICC vice-president. During the ICC annual meeting in Singapore it was confirmed that Howard didn't have enough support, while Australia and New Zealand have been asked to nominate another candidate

Speed, who was CEO from 2001 until 2008, was scathing in his assessment of what had taken place to undermine Howard's nomination, which itself was the subject of a compromise between Australia and New Zealand. He said those who didn't want Howard in the role are politically motivated.

"Howard has been rejected because his appointment would provide ICC with strong leadership that would thwart the ambitions of several current administrators to downgrade and devalue the role of the ICC," Speed wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Howard would have stood in their path. The role requires strength of character - a leader, diplomat, statesman and politician. The ICC board is as political as any political party. The countries that voted him down want a compliant figurehead who will do their bidding."

Speed added that Australia and New Zealand have previously accepted nominations despite reservations. He said that they should decline to make another candidate available and instead pass the role onto Pakistan and Bangladesh, who are next in line on the rotation system, then refuse to vote themselves.

"In the meantime, they should be banging the table and making their displeasure widely known," wrote Speed.

Speed also questioned whether ICC president-elect Sharad Pawar would have time for cricket in the midst of his political career. "Sharad Pawar, is the Minister for Agriculture in the Indian government - a serious full-time job, feeding 1.2 billion people. He is a good and fair man but he will be working part-time as ICC president and, take it from me, he knows little about cricket administration.

"I was present at several ICC board meetings he attended. ICC meetings generally last two days. Pawar attended for one hour and was then replaced by one of the Board of Control for Cricket in India apparatchiks. They were concerned that he was too busy and would be too reasonable," wrote Speed.

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Cricket in Pakistan is a basket case... very true, who made it this way though Mr. Speed? You are one fo the culprits!

  • sudhir on July 2, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    sir, malcom speed , all we indians were under the same frustation as you are now when you said the following words before india winning 2007 20-20 world cup and beating australia in australia,,,, you said "you people(indians) just have money other than that you dont know how to play cricket you people dont win icc tournaments look at new zealand despite being a small country how are they playing" ................be prepard you speed and aussies there is lot to come in future from us(indian team) in terms of cricket "be bold to face it"

  • Dummy4 on July 2, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Wow go Mr Speed finally highlighting the fact that they way that icc is ruled by the backwards asian cricket boards. i have to say im impressed good on him its been happening for far to long cricket needs to grow up and move with the times its just stuck doing what the bcci wants it to do at the moment. I think that we should nominate Sir Richard Hadlee hes one of the greatest players of all time, a perfectionist and tough nut and wont be pushed around.

  • Shahid on July 1, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Malcolm Speed: "The ICC board is as political as any political party. The countries that voted him down want a compliant figurehead who will do their bidding"

    And yet he wants to bring in a real politician into ICC knowing how political this organization is already. You have too many contradicitons Mr. Speed. Just accept the results, it was all done through a legal process. Would you be that furious if the person rejected was from Asia or Africa?

  • Roelof on July 1, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    So what's the problem here?? Aus and NZ nominated Howard and he got rejected by majority vote! What's wrong with that? Does Aus and NZ think everybody should just say 'amen' and accept it? What if Zim and SA nominate Rob Mugabe when it's their turn? (Not that I'm comparing Howard with Mugabe, its the principle) Come on people, move on!

  • Monirul on July 1, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Time to call L Modi or S khan or A Bachchan

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    @ vidheyan : totally agree. active ministers and politicians should not run sports.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    I just love it when Aussies moan!

  • Atif on July 1, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    HAHA. So John Howard called Murali a "chucker" and now a few years later, Sri Lanka have rejected his nomination. EAT YOUR WORDS now Mr. JH...

  • Satish on July 1, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    So Howard is being rejected for his cricketing credentials. Fair enough. I doubt if there ever was a rule which said Australia and New Zealand had to go ahead and say yes to anyone picked by other nations. They could have objected to it there and then and that in itself would have proved they care for the game.

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