ICC news July 2, 2010

Australia and New Zealand take time over next step

Cricket Australia is not rushing towards a decision on whether to re-nominate John Howard as ICC vice-president and will hold a special board meeting next week to determine its next move. Howard has gained support from the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand following his rejection for the ICC job in Singapore on Wednesday, while senior cricket officials have been left without explanations of why the appointment was denied.

Both cricket boards, which provided Howard as their joint nomination, are frustrated by the decision but will now take their time over any new announcement. A Cricket Australia spokesman told Cricinfo its board would wait for reports from the chairman Jack Clarke and James Sutherland, the chief executive, on the events in Singapore before deciding what happens next.

Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, has spoken about the need to "let the dust settle" while Clarke also acknowledged "there's some water to flow under the bridge" before the candidate was finalised. Under the ICC's guidelines, it was the turn of New Zealand and Australia to select the vice-president, who would then take the top job in 2012.

The process stalled when board members from Africa and Asia blocked Howard's elevation. Australia and New Zealand were given until August 31 to provide another option for the position as Sharad Pawar's deputy.

John Key, the New Zealand prime minister, called it a "shocking decision". "I saw John on TV saying he's going to hold his ground and I think he should," Key told New Zealand radio.

Julia Gillard, Australia's prime minister, said she shared some of the concerns Howard had voiced publicly since being shut out. "I'd be very happy to offer full support for John Howard to get this role," she said.

Howard remains committed to the position and Cricket Australia will stand by him at least until the board meeting next week. New Zealand had originally pushed for Sir John Anderson in the role, but Vaughan indicated the job had become less appealing after the events in Singapore.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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