ICC news July 1, 2010

Chingoka justifies Howard's rejection

Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka, chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, has justified the rejection of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard for the ICC vice-president's post, saying that Howard's lack of experience in cricket administration led to the decision. Chingoka felt there were several other candidates in Australia and New Zealand who were more suitable for the position.

Chingoka told the Age it "goes without saying" that whoever Australia and New Zealand choose in place of Howard as the vice-presidential nominee must be "somebody who's come through hands-on in cricket." The move to nominate Howard, Chingoka said, was akin to "asking me to come and edit the Melbourne Age without any experience in the journalism industry.

''There is a lot of talent in Australia and New Zealand. I could give you at least six names from Australia who have been on the Australian board or the board of the ICC, who are very competent and would be immediately suitable, I can give you two or three names from New Zealand who would be immediately suitable.''

Howard, earlier this month, had travelled to Harare and met with Chingoka to ease tensions following South Africa and Zimbabwe's reported move to block his nomination; the meeting had been described by the Zimbabwe board as being "friendly, constructive and frank." But when the ICC met in Singapore, six Full Member countries officially conveyed their opposition to Howard's nomination.

While Cricket Australia complained it had not been made aware of the reasons for the opposition to Howard's nomination, Chingoka said "reasons have been given", though "not palatable to some people." He also dismissed the suggestion that Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe had influenced the board's decision. "'That is an excuse that has been used because of the denial of the reasons given [to Howard and the countries], because it's a convenient excuse."