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'No one country should dominate' - John Howard

Cricinfo staff

July 4, 2010

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Former Australian prime minister John Howard with Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clark, Harare, June 23, 2010
John Howard has called for greater equality within the ICC © AFP
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Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, whose nomination for the post of ICC vice-president was rejected by six countries last week, has questioned the validity of such a move given the rotational policy currently in place to put forward candidates. Also, reacting to the suggestion that the BCCI may have had a considerable influence in his rejection, Howard stressed India's enormous value to world cricket but at the same time emphasised that "no one country should dominate".

According to the ICC's rotational policy, Australia and New Zealand were supposed to nominate a candidate for vice-president this time. New Zealand had initially proposed John Anderson, a former chairman of NZC, as their nomination before Howard was picked over him. "They've got to pay regard to what's happened, given that we had apparently put in place a procedure for choosing by rotation the president and vice-president of the ICC, and that appears to have been pushed to one side in the last week," Howard told Channel Nine. "But equally they've got to look at the future of the game."

India's possible role in blocking his nomination has come in for much criticism in the media. Howard, while urging caution in singling out India, called for greater parity among the members of the ICC. "We have to be careful of making India some kind of target of disdain in world cricket," he said. "There is one part of the world where a sport at the present time remains transcendent over soccer and that is the Indian subcontinent. The fanaticism for cricket among the 1.5 billion people in the entire region ... is unbelievable and we've got to see that in a positive light.

"I think it is very important we understand there's got to be a fair sharing of responsibilities and no one part of the world, no one country, should dominate.

"People in the past criticised the fact it was dominated by England and Australia and now we don't want to replace one perceived domination with another.

"That in a way is why the ICC put in place this rotation system and that's one of the issues CA have got to take into account when it responds to what has happened."

Howard said he was still interested in the job, but left it to CA to decide the next course of action. "I'd like the job but at this stage it's hit a roadblock, and what happens from now on is really CA's call, it's not about me, it's about the future of the game," he said. "I went into this because I love cricket very much and I had the time to devote to it and the energy and the commitment, but what happens from now on CA and New Zealand Cricket have been asked to re-nominate and they obviously separately and together will meet and talk about the situation."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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