No rift within the ICC - Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar, the newly appointed ICC president, denied suggestions of a rift developing in the ICC after the body rejected John Howard's bid to become the vice-president. Howard was nominated for the role by Australia and New Zealand but failed to find enough support from the other countries. Pawar, however, said that the decision had been deliberated upon within the council.
"I don't think there is any division. We have discussed the matter individually and collectively with everybody including Australia, England and New Zealand," Pawar said. "The majority did not support him. Ultimately, in any democratic organisation, there has to be support from the majority but that was not there in his case."
Pawar was confident of managing his ICC responsibilities in addition to his role as the union minister for agriculture in the Indian government. "Fortunately the ICC headquarters is in Dubai where they work on Saturdays and Sundays. It's a matter of a two-hour flight [from India]. There won't be any difficulty."
He said he would request the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to lessen his ministerial workload. "I will discuss with the prime minister about my responsibilities and will take appropriate decision so that my government work is not affected," he said. "I may suggest having more hands to help me. I had asked for three ministers but they have given me only one. If I request to reduce some of my work, we may find some solution. I won't allow my work in the government to suffer."