July 1, 2010

A grave new low for lowly ICC

John Howard has been knocked back - and knocked back without even an opportunity to address the rejectionists
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Say what you like about the members of the International Cricket Council, they are utterly consistent. No matter how far you lower your expectations, they always find a way to underperform.

The ICC presidency has existed for 13 years. It has rotated among regions based on the ten Test nations six times. Not once has the nomination caused a murmur: it has been accepted as the nominating nations' prerogative.

Australia and New Zealand, after a rigorous and orderly process, offered Australia's second longest-serving prime minister as the next holder of that office. John Howard was content to serve a waiting period of two years as vice-president, without a vote, without remuneration: quite a gesture of humility for one who has been a country's leader. Now he has been knocked back - and knocked back without even an opportunity to address the rejectionists.

Why? Nobody will say, because nobody so far has had the nerve to stand behind such a calculated insult, both to the individual, and to the country that elected him, for better and worse, four times. The best the ICC can do is a press release stating that his nomination "did not have sufficient support" - making it sound like a chiropractic problem rather than a political one.

There were all sorts of reasons to develop a distaste for Howard the prime minister. I've made a few of them myself. But were any of them relevant to his ability to hold the presidency of the ICC? It involves chairing the board of a sporting body, a job for which he was content to serve a two-year apprenticeship, not holding down the chair in quantum mechanics at MIT. Rather like Tom Brown's objections to Dr Fell, the main objection seems to be that … errr … people object to him.

What little we do know is that the first hint of opposition came a couple of months ago from Zimbabwe, which had their own bone to pick with Howard for his disapproval of their indefensible government. Like Alexander Pope's critics, however, Zimbabwe were "willing to wound, afraid to strike". This role was left to Cricket South Africa's chairman Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who appears to have set himself up as a kind of arbiter of racial okayness.

Howard, it's rumoured, was once disrespectful of Nelson Mandela, even if nobody seems to know when or how, and this also must have been a while ago, because Howard was also responsible in November 1999 for making Mandela an honorary companion in the Order of Australia. Perhaps Nyoka is sincere in his objections; perhaps not. He has so far exhibited no courage in his convictions, and from the organisation that inflicted Percy Sonn on cricket, objection to a former Australian prime minister is pretty hard to take seriously.

Ultimately, however, responsibility lies with the chaotic, fratricidal, law-unto-itself Board of Control for Cricket in India, for had it chosen to back Howard, the decision would have gone through on the nod. The BCCI likes to think of itself as cricket's leader - as, indeed, it is, by any economic measure. But where was it when actual leadership was required? Sunk in its own macchiavellian intrigues, busy trying to claw back a facilitation fee from World Sports Group, and poring over Lalit Modi's hotel and limousine expenses. Suggestions in the Indian media are that the rejection stems from internal upheavals at the BCCI, where ICC president Sharad Pawar, who supported Howard's nomination, is on the nose with his former colleagues for being too close to Modi. Who knows? And who, ultimately, cares?

How ironic that the nomination of Howard should have been deemed so "divisive", and "divisiveness" such an unforgivable sin - what could be more divisive than rejecting a nomination of Howard's eminence without explanation?

This mixture of hopeless shilly-shallying and posturing has brought cricket's global governance to a grave new low. The decision is neither constructive nor forward-looking; it reeks of enmity and envy. How ironic that the nomination of Howard should have been deemed so "divisive", and "divisiveness" such an unforgivable sin - what could be more divisive than rejecting a nomination of Howard's eminence without explanation?

OK, so now expect one of those high-quality cricket debates involving a generalised, free-floating, received-wisdom idea that Howard must be a racist, because of something someone once heard from somebody who remembers reading something on the internet about stuff. He said that thing about Murali, didn't he? And what about those Indian students, eh?

But there are no high-falutin' principles involved here. Six member boards of the ICC have decided, jointly and severally, that it will play well in front of their home constituencies to rub Australia's noses in it. In this context, some remarks vouchsafed last week by Ozais Bvute, the unloved chief executive of Zimbabwe Cricket, are worth examining.

Bvute began by insisting that reports of Zimbabwe's opposition to Howard were all a beat-up: "A section of the international media has erroneously created the impression that we have been at the forefront of a motion to block Mr Howard's nomination." Hard to see where the international media got that impression from: the presence of Howard in Harare with Cricket Australia's chairman Jack Clarke must have been a complete coincidence.

Bvute continued: "This is not only maliciously incorrect but also ignores the fact that our structures dictate that such a decision can only be taken by the ZC Board which is in fact still to meet and state a position on the matter.' Please enjoy: instruction in democratic processes from Zimbabwe, whose president has made such a fine art of the principle of "vote-early-vote-often".

Bvute concluded: "Our concern has and always will be the welfare of the game. Our final decision and vote will be guided by what is in the best interest of cricket in this country." Except that Mr Bvute manages to contradict himself in a single bound, because "the welfare of the game" and "the best interests of cricket in this country" are not the same, even if they may on occasion be parallel. It would be in the best interests of Zimbabwe cricket to play India every week; but this would be much good to the welfare of the game in general.

Let's give Bvute some credit. While others cower, he is prepared to stand by his cock-eyed thinking. But if his remarks can be taken as indicative of attitudes at ICC, then its members have given up trying to be FIFA, a body acting in the international interests of its sport, and are content to be a tenth-rate United Nations, all piss, wind and parish-pump politics. Can it get worse? I'm sure ICC is up to the challenge.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ElectronSmoke on July 1, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Being and Indian - I totally accept the shenanigans of BCCI, and ICC at large on this issue. It's obvious who arm-twisted the final outcome. Divisive decision, biased and largely unfounded - sure! John Howard's political career, controversies, daft comments - they might not 'officially' matter - but it has incited enough adverse opinion for the boards to use the veto they hitherto have not. Like it has been 'accepted' as a prerogative of the nominating nation - they are not 'supposed' to give a reason for their snub ( for God's sake, stop using the 'snub to Australia' card, that is petty!). Gideon! as much as you rail and rant, or don't care - it is your journalistic bias towards Howard too. I'll put it straight - Sir John Anderson(NZ) would have been selected without a murmur!

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    @ Lees_Legends: David Marr's profile of John Howard in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 1998 makes it abundantly clear that Howard was fascinated with South Africa and would have visited the country in the 1980s had he not been advised against doing so. Marr met Howard and spoke to him at length for the profile.

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    But Murali IS a chucker, Zimbabwe IS run by a dictator. So im failing to see the problem there.

  • cool_yule on July 1, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Australia, England and Newzealand have had there good days when they could rule the ICC and its regulations. They enjoyed those days and now its the other half which was on receiving end till now is calling shots. One who start digging in identifying the reasons of why Howard's candidature was rejected, you smell a political reason but that's how it has been. Moreover, Howard has been a true politician and if he want this position he better win it politically because as they say he has no credential to be ICC's vice pres. His comments towards Zimbabwe, murlitharan, or the biased umpire were politically motivated and never helping the situation in cricket. As someone wrote above "as you sow, so shall you reap. He did politics so he is facing politics and let him win his rights by politics.

  • Manikchand_Gutka_eating_desi on July 1, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    UnderDog1630 I like that idea. Ram5160 completly agree with you on that. I guess this is what you call karma. Whatever he said or did on his presidency time came back to bite him. How can you call world's best bowler a chucker? Was it because your world dominating team did not have any answers for his bowling? Or introduce politics to cricket because you did not agree with Mugabe's regime. Lastly the man ran the country, and I'm sure in order to do that he probably was in politics for long time so when he ran Aus, he had all the experience needed to run the country. But he has no experience in the Cricket. It would be like George Bush running for presidency of NFL(Nat'l Football League) or MLB(Major League Baseball) in US. Having an experience is one thing but if it is not towards the job you're applying for then your resume goes at the end of the pile. & that's what happened to him. Australia & Gideon Haigh get over this and nominate Sir Anderson of NZ. He seems more suitable.

  • CaughtAndBowled on July 1, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    I am loving this. Honestly. I am loving this. For all the injustice and inexplicable treatment of Asian boards and players over the years this kind of revolt is long over due. Have it boys.

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Mr. Gideon, the rotationary system that exists to appoint a VP and a Prez is not a black cheque for that region to appoint any tom dick or a harry! And the ability of other regions to object and block is called democracy. Howard has a very dubious reputation as a diplomat and is highly polarising agent for the cricketing world; the last thing Cricket needs. What happened to gentlemen in Oz/NZ like Border, Waugh, Sir Hadlee, Sir John?

  • Ullas_79 on July 1, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    For those who dont know about the selection process where Howard with no background in cricket administration overcame a very reputed cricket administrator and buisnessman Andrerson: A selection committe of a memeber each from each country was decided to submit their finidngs.This selection committe was chaired by an Aussie and finally it looked like the numerical advantage was the only thing in favor of Howard.Australia had its time with Speed. Why not give chance to NZL who has an excellent and reputed Anderson as a candidate instead of nominating somebody who has reservations from almost all part of the world except for Australia. As Haigh is a historian, he would know about the time when England and Aussies used to have the veto power in ICC. Is that the sort of dark ages you are referring to? For people who talk about the hypocracy of Indian disapora, well we didnt hear from any of you when Aus-Eng controlled ICC, so why talk now? Isnt that hypocracy on your part too?

  • Pawarji on July 1, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Guys who talk so much against Howard - how good is Pawar my friends. Whole of India if not others know how much corrupt he is and he knows very little about sport administration forget about indian admininistration - not to mention about the mess up he made in IPL. Where as Howard in spite of his adamant views governed the country for 11 years without a single black mark. I never voted for him when he was a PM policy wise but he was one hell of an administrator and that is the reason AUS NZ chose him for the role. Trust me, as people point out it is the guilty complex of the six nations fearing that he will bring some radical measures to clean up the mess Pawar might have left or keep Inida and allied countries making ICC another IPL that he was pushed out! it is sheer cowardliness if not anything else.People talking against him to link up Mandela should also rememnber that he honoured him as well as a companion of the order of Australia. ICC is unlucky to miss out on a good admin guy

  • ImpartialJudge on July 1, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    Wonder What was the " rigorous and orderly process" in which NZ was arm-twisted?

  • ElectronSmoke on July 1, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Being and Indian - I totally accept the shenanigans of BCCI, and ICC at large on this issue. It's obvious who arm-twisted the final outcome. Divisive decision, biased and largely unfounded - sure! John Howard's political career, controversies, daft comments - they might not 'officially' matter - but it has incited enough adverse opinion for the boards to use the veto they hitherto have not. Like it has been 'accepted' as a prerogative of the nominating nation - they are not 'supposed' to give a reason for their snub ( for God's sake, stop using the 'snub to Australia' card, that is petty!). Gideon! as much as you rail and rant, or don't care - it is your journalistic bias towards Howard too. I'll put it straight - Sir John Anderson(NZ) would have been selected without a murmur!

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    @ Lees_Legends: David Marr's profile of John Howard in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 1998 makes it abundantly clear that Howard was fascinated with South Africa and would have visited the country in the 1980s had he not been advised against doing so. Marr met Howard and spoke to him at length for the profile.

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    But Murali IS a chucker, Zimbabwe IS run by a dictator. So im failing to see the problem there.

  • cool_yule on July 1, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Australia, England and Newzealand have had there good days when they could rule the ICC and its regulations. They enjoyed those days and now its the other half which was on receiving end till now is calling shots. One who start digging in identifying the reasons of why Howard's candidature was rejected, you smell a political reason but that's how it has been. Moreover, Howard has been a true politician and if he want this position he better win it politically because as they say he has no credential to be ICC's vice pres. His comments towards Zimbabwe, murlitharan, or the biased umpire were politically motivated and never helping the situation in cricket. As someone wrote above "as you sow, so shall you reap. He did politics so he is facing politics and let him win his rights by politics.

  • Manikchand_Gutka_eating_desi on July 1, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    UnderDog1630 I like that idea. Ram5160 completly agree with you on that. I guess this is what you call karma. Whatever he said or did on his presidency time came back to bite him. How can you call world's best bowler a chucker? Was it because your world dominating team did not have any answers for his bowling? Or introduce politics to cricket because you did not agree with Mugabe's regime. Lastly the man ran the country, and I'm sure in order to do that he probably was in politics for long time so when he ran Aus, he had all the experience needed to run the country. But he has no experience in the Cricket. It would be like George Bush running for presidency of NFL(Nat'l Football League) or MLB(Major League Baseball) in US. Having an experience is one thing but if it is not towards the job you're applying for then your resume goes at the end of the pile. & that's what happened to him. Australia & Gideon Haigh get over this and nominate Sir Anderson of NZ. He seems more suitable.

  • CaughtAndBowled on July 1, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    I am loving this. Honestly. I am loving this. For all the injustice and inexplicable treatment of Asian boards and players over the years this kind of revolt is long over due. Have it boys.

  • on July 1, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Mr. Gideon, the rotationary system that exists to appoint a VP and a Prez is not a black cheque for that region to appoint any tom dick or a harry! And the ability of other regions to object and block is called democracy. Howard has a very dubious reputation as a diplomat and is highly polarising agent for the cricketing world; the last thing Cricket needs. What happened to gentlemen in Oz/NZ like Border, Waugh, Sir Hadlee, Sir John?

  • Ullas_79 on July 1, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    For those who dont know about the selection process where Howard with no background in cricket administration overcame a very reputed cricket administrator and buisnessman Andrerson: A selection committe of a memeber each from each country was decided to submit their finidngs.This selection committe was chaired by an Aussie and finally it looked like the numerical advantage was the only thing in favor of Howard.Australia had its time with Speed. Why not give chance to NZL who has an excellent and reputed Anderson as a candidate instead of nominating somebody who has reservations from almost all part of the world except for Australia. As Haigh is a historian, he would know about the time when England and Aussies used to have the veto power in ICC. Is that the sort of dark ages you are referring to? For people who talk about the hypocracy of Indian disapora, well we didnt hear from any of you when Aus-Eng controlled ICC, so why talk now? Isnt that hypocracy on your part too?

  • Pawarji on July 1, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Guys who talk so much against Howard - how good is Pawar my friends. Whole of India if not others know how much corrupt he is and he knows very little about sport administration forget about indian admininistration - not to mention about the mess up he made in IPL. Where as Howard in spite of his adamant views governed the country for 11 years without a single black mark. I never voted for him when he was a PM policy wise but he was one hell of an administrator and that is the reason AUS NZ chose him for the role. Trust me, as people point out it is the guilty complex of the six nations fearing that he will bring some radical measures to clean up the mess Pawar might have left or keep Inida and allied countries making ICC another IPL that he was pushed out! it is sheer cowardliness if not anything else.People talking against him to link up Mandela should also rememnber that he honoured him as well as a companion of the order of Australia. ICC is unlucky to miss out on a good admin guy

  • ImpartialJudge on July 1, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    Wonder What was the " rigorous and orderly process" in which NZ was arm-twisted?

  • dwighty on July 1, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    Giddy - no matter how much you fulminate, I cannot but help think that a series of wrong intentions has ended in the right result! One small point - given you claim to be a cricket historian, in about 5 years time, one morning try to sit down and analyse this article of yours (critically, if that is at all possible).....

  • manjula.mh on July 1, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    He said Murali a Chucker when there own universities proved that the is not. Such a bias person should not be given a high post in ICC.

  • IndiaGoats on July 1, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    For all those who are salivating at the prospect of a separate cricketing world with Aus, NZ, Eng, SA and WI -- do realize that SA and WI voted against Howard. So it would be just Aus, NZ and Eng. And since NZ was anyway bullied into accepting Howard's candidature (and whose players would probably go to IPL anyway for the money), it would be just Aus and Eng in the new 'world' cricket. Wow! Imagine back-to-back-to-back Ashes!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on July 1, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    When somebody stands for election and gets rejected, is he entitled to reasons from the voters who have rejected him? Why does Aus behave that it is their moral right to foist anybody they want on to the rest of the world, especially when Howard's distinct lack of public appeal in today's world of outspokenness is so well known? What next - a Tony Blair nominated by Eng? He would meet the same fate as Howard, in case the English don't get it. The vast majority really like politicians, more so these people. Pawar is also a politician of course, but also a cricket administrator for long. But that's no argument, the world is welcome to reject him too and nobody would have called it a national insult and an effort to rub Indian noses...not when 7 countries do it. As somebody said, nominate Border or Hadlee, and things would have sailed through. So it's not an anti-Aussi or anti-white thingie. The Aussi whining on this episode, they have definitely not endeared themselves to anbody..

  • on July 1, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    Not sure if Gideon wore anything about CA or Howard when they decided not to tour Zimbabwe. That was politics as well. I think its time to move one. No you trying to keep on pressing like a child over an ICC position. Gideon is accusing BCCI of bullying the asian nations to vote against Howard. If BCCI was bullying, it would not allow any other country's member to become head of ACC. As far as I am aware Malcom Speed was from Aus. So this time around NZC should have a chance to put forward a candidate. But I guess CA cannot bear that their Tasmanian counter part are good enough to put forward a candidate for ICC presidency.Give NZC a chance and shot this bullshit of rigorous process of candidate selection.

  • Umair_umair on July 1, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    @Gideon Haigh. See the comments to your article. Whether ICC or this Circinfo response. Decision is Unanimous - No Howard.

  • knowledge_eater on July 1, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    I was waiting for "why so surprise" Part 2 article. hahaha I think it was all scripted. CA appointed controversial person from first place, assuming India will boycott him now they have license to attack BCCI at will. Its pure business decision, for FTP, Subcontinent is holding next world cup. India has followed Lankans and Pakistan this time. If people don't see this bluff, well then it is going to kill few good cricket. I don't think Cricket would have been different if Howard was appointed, but more likely he wasn't going to which is pure bluff. Now, CA can go own and tell the world "see see we are so poor and innocent, world is boycotting us."

  • chaithan on July 1, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    Haigh normally I find your articles very good. But here all you seem to have written is a long criticism of those who opposed Howard. Ok they are not angels themselves but can you give us a few reasons for Howard to be selected first? And what do you mean "rigorous and orderly process"??!! It looks like CA twisted NZ's arm (especially since I heard that the supposedly independent arbitrator was an Australian). They do that a lot. I don't think you can be called neutral since you seem to be extremely biased towards Australia in this whole article.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on July 1, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    1. "they always find a way to underperform." - By not selecting Howard? 2. "after a rigorous and orderly process, offered Australia's second longest-serving prime minister " - If it was offered, where was the process and the rigor? 3. "John Howard was content to serve" - He deserved better, right? 4. "a waiting period of two years as vice-president, without a vote, without remuneration: quite a gesture of humility for one who has been a country's leader" - Humility? Looks like CA begged him! 5. "nobody so far has had the nerve to stand behind such a calculated insult, both to the individual, and to the country that elected him" - There's no place for such nationalistic drivel substituting as commentary on a situation in this forum. Need I say more...?

  • Manningham on July 1, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Howard and his supporters deserve nothing better - I hope/expect he'll get knocked back if he's foolish enough to put himself forward again.

  • bustermove on July 1, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    A long time ago, when I had only observed Murali both live here in Australia and on TV I was suspicious that he was throwing the ball. So was half the cricketing world, including Mr Howard, who made the mistake of saying so. Does that make him or I racist? What about Bishen Bedi? He is still Murali's most vociferous critic. Is he a racist? A few years ago the cricket show did a special piece about Murali, filmed him in super slowmo, interviewed him, got him to show all his deliveries. Brilliant. I finally understood that it is the incredible internal rotation of his shoulder during delivery that gives him such amazing purchase on the ball but also because of his permanently bent elbow the impression of straightening his arm. I was converted and so pleased to be because he is the game's finest advertisement, a fair, hard and gifted player and a fine man. Mugabe and his regime rank as mankind's worst advertisement. Howard said so. So does that make him racist? Give the r word a rest guys

  • amol_v on July 1, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    dude.. you want to know the reasons? Here they are:

    1. first he doesnt allow zim cricket board president to enter australia and then he goes to zim, begging for vote.. see it? not yet, ok.. another one...

    2. he calls the most honest and respectable bowler of cricket.. A chucker.. isnt that stupid.. isnt that so disrespectful for a cricket board like SriLanka, who absolutely love their cricket and cricketers? now, you see it? noo...

    3. Other issues: He is a racist... he is so politically biased.. etc etc... I hope you get it.. but I am sure you didnt.. i can understand.. dont worry.. :)

  • ram5160 on July 1, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    First lets talk about democratic and journalistic standards on Cricinfo. There is a blatant bias towards Howard. 2 articles from Haigh and now one from Bal. So far i ve seen only one against him that too in the INBOX 1.Where are the articles showing the opposite POV? 2.Surely his faults must receive as much of the spot light as his strengths? Or do u not believe that standard jounalistic principle, Mr.Bal? 3.Where are the articles illustrating his long and distinguished track record as a politico who repeatedly used the race card to gain power? 4. What are likes of Alter, Binoy, English and Samiuddin doing? Or is going against the Boss not allowed?

  • Criketanand on July 1, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    i think Gideon forgets that it is an election first & foremost & people have to be elected by votes. if majority dont like him the matter ends there. He wasnt a unanimous choice as NZCB wanted someone else, but went through as Australian board pushed him thru he is not a non controversial person. for administrative post non controversial people are best. he is not that level headed that he can diffuse a situation in times of confrontation, infact he is the very opposite. he might have been a good politician and a good PM witch is debatable but still in a democratic way if most people dont like him and if he is not good administrator (as controversial and cant be diplomatic with his statements) and if he cant handle confrontation by diffusing it, then he is not fit for the top job it is not a dictatorship that if his name has been nominated by 2 boards then all other boards should just agree and it was not a unanimous choice in the first place even between NZCB and ACB

  • musicrocker on July 1, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Gideon, you are a cricket writer not a judge. Instead of passing judgement present the facts and both side of the arguements. I am afraid you might soon loose your job due to all the criticism your article have attracted.

  • mittheimp on July 1, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    There are some good arguments and sensible points to make over this situation. However Gideon Haigh's article is so one sided and myopic that it fails to make any!

  • UnderDog1630 on July 1, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Guys, Read the whole article again, but replace Howard with Mugabe and Aus/Nz with Zimbabwe/SouthAfrica.

  • Paki.Fan. on July 1, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Please get your facts straight first, don't write on your assumptions and conspiracy theories which you cannot prove. Everyone knows that Howard has been a controversial figure and whatever his abilities are, he has a past which cannot be undone. and it was a right decision to not have such a personality in such a big position. This has nothing to do with politics or regional agenda which you are trying to present

  • ram5160 on July 1, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    1. Howard failed to support sanctions against Apartheid in SA. 2. He called the greatest spinner of all time a chucker. 3. Rumored to have insulted Mandela. 4. Made inhuman restrictions on immigration based on race. What more do u need? When was the last time u havent blamed India for everything, Gideon?

  • Ullas_79 on July 1, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Haigh,

    Why dont you talk more about the democratic, rigorous and orderly process followed to select Howard as the candidate instead of a more worthy candidate from NZL? What Australia did to NZL is what exactly other members did to Howard. They arm twisted NZL because they have more power and other members (may be BCCI) did the same to Aus-NZL. Whether the perceived image of Howard is correct or not is the question but it is of a racist is the bigger point. Why to take chance with such a person as ICC president?Or is it that there is nobody from Cricket Administration in Australia who is not perceived differently?

    As a president, if you express an opinion, it has to be well informed and he didnt do that in case of Murali and there is no reason to believe he would change that even when ICC president and that wont be acceptable to others He was very local in his support for the war against Iraq and Afghanistan both of which many in the sub-continent believe were not well founded.

  • yogikanna on July 1, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Ok if John Howard is not a cricket person, then what about Sharad Pawar?? Sharad pawar is himself in scrutiny for possible bribery and involvement of a relative in an IPL bid. Almost all Indian politicians are corrupt. I am a little embarrased that India would turn down Howard citing that he is not a cricket person! This has to be a joke. May be Pawar did not want Howard as his deputy as having two politicians in the panel might have led to an argument as to who get the bigger bribe...jk jk

  • on July 1, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    A completely biased article! It will need a few other cribbers to appreciate this one. The author is crying foul in the entire article. CA,NZ just accept the mistake, bring a better candidate instead of cribbing. He was removed by a democratic process. Others didn't want him and they are not under any compulsion to say 'why'.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 1, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    why dont u understand that having been aus's head for 11 years needn't be sufficient to be icc chief

  • on July 1, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    So, Howard had no problem blocking his country's cricketers from touring Zim because Zimbabwe's govt was repulsive; but now, he has no problem going over there to gain their support?

    Did Zimbabwe's govt suddenly become democratic and humane?

    Howard seems to be the typical polictician; which means that he is perfectly suited to be the president of the ICC.

  • Sungupta on July 1, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Why is it so important for Mr. Howard to become the ICC president? How is he so important to the future of international cricket? In fact, I really wonder what was found so special in Mr. Howard for the independent committee to recommend him. Is it not important for the leader of a body like the ICC to have acceptability among all the members? The Australian cricket board should known better than put forward such a divisive figure for the post.

  • wanderer1 on July 1, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    As you sow, so shall you reap. Repeat ad nauseum.

  • PottedLambShanks on July 1, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Well said, Gideon. If the Asian bloc want to use the game of cricket to settle some old scores, then quite frankly I think the rest of the cricketing world would be a lot better off without them.

    England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand to play each other at test, ODI and T20 cricket, and India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to play each other in year-long T20 leagues with at least two matches per day (think of the advertising revenue!!! OMG! We could all become so rich!).

    Everybody's happy.

  • plmx on July 1, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    So…….some of the member countries think that the candidate is controversial and polarising and feel that this negative aspect overrides his "competence" and "ability". Some other member countries think the opposite. The first group, being entitled to their views, have made their feelings known (Oh yes they have!) and being greater in number have prevailed. The second group being smaller in number should acknowledge the democratic and constitutional right of the first group, accept the decision and move on. This is how it is meant to work in a civilised institution. The fuss that the second group and its friends and family are creating is unsightly!

  • on July 1, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    I would have loved to see your reaction had Sharad Pawar called Shane Warne a lascivious chucker or said something to offend your biased sensibilities. Just live with it. No one cares if you like him, Mr. Haigh.

  • DrSunilSharma on July 1, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Australian Former Prime Minister has been lovingly known as " Cricket tragic " in Australian Cricketing circles and he is proud of that. But is good for the game as he is a politician with no love for the cricket game but wants power and would mix silly politics to make cricket less popular among the world wide fans. No one can trust him even Australians have rejected him.....May be Kevin Rudd will be far popular nomination to the cricket loving fans worldwide.

  • vpadmana on July 1, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    It's called Democracy. Get over it!

  • musicrocker on July 1, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    I completely disagree with this article. It looks a instance of biased reporting. Being an Indian, I am not a supporter of Sharad Pawar. The issue here is Howard is a more political person then anyone else and CA should have found a better person. He didn't do any good while calling Murali a chucker as he had nothing to do with the technical aspects of the game being a PM of a country, it is for the refree or the administrators to decide that. How many times we have seen the Aussie cricketers escaping the punishment for their on field bad behaviour and sledging, only because the game was dictated by them, but no more.

  • pranabashish on July 1, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    What a laughable article! Mr.Howard candidature was rejected in a democratic process and that's where it must rest. Mr.Gideon Haigh has taken it upon himself to find conspiracy where none exits. India's ranking is No.1 in tests and No.2 in ODIs. So, is India only a leader in economic terms? Perhaps you are just angry that Aus lost the Natwest series comprehensively and letting your venom laced ire against all and sundry!! :-)

  • Andare on July 1, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    It maybe true that the reasons given by the opposing cricketing boards, are just excuses, because if they tell the truth, it won't just be insulting Howard, It will be insulting Australia. Australia is a great cricketing nation, with so many other suitable candidates for the job. So I don't think anyone is trying to insult Australia. Its a shame that Australia thinks Howard is the best they have, when the rest of the world is pretty sure Australia can provide better.

  • crackers134 on July 1, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Spot on as usual Gideon, this is an absolute travesty by the ICC (Indian Cricket Council??). Too much power in Asia/Africa. Howard would be the best thing for the ICC, it would be run properly like he ran Australia from 1996-2007, look at the problems in Australia now.

  • Joji_ on July 1, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    @ Chully Scorbus :

    very well said mate. very well said!!

  • Wakeybeancounter on July 1, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    Mr Haigh you make such a thing of Howard being an Ex PM. I can tell you that to most people this is hardly a virtue, in fact a damn good reason not to appoint him.

  • plsn on July 1, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Giddy, Insult is - 1) Asking the Prime Minister of the largest country in the world to undergo physical security check during Howard's rule - resulting in the cancellation of the visit. 2) Boorishly pushing and man-handling the President of BCCI in front of his homecrowd and on the presentation stage. What happened to Johnny-come-lately is called DEMOCRACY. Get it?

  • DominicSayers on July 1, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    The worst insult you have made to the ICC is to hold up FIFA as a model for them. In the pantheon of world sports governing bodies, ICC, FIFA and IOC are only a hair's breadth behind the FIA in being comically unable to act in the best interest of the sport itself rather than the vested interests they actually represent.

    Lalit Modi is accused of nothing worse than what Sepp Blatter and Joao Havalange are believed by some people to have done to line their own pockets.

    Of course none of these bodies are in the same league as WBO, WBA, IBO, WBC, IBF etc etc for sheer comedy potential.

  • on July 1, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Very funny article to start with.

    This article shows only how an Australian feels when the whole world is against them.

    They have no idea about the feelings of NewZealanders. They have no idea about other playing nations.

    It is very simple. If the nomination is not acceptable by one nation board, their decision could be doubted. If the nomination is not acceptable by ALMOST ALL nations, the CA's decision of nominating should be doubted. It is very funny that the author doesn't touch about that.

  • Rajesh84 on July 1, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    All said and done, If the majority doesn't want him to be in office, so be it. It's stupid to blame india. If India accepts Howard's nomination then srilanka, Pak, Bangladesh, Zim and SA will call INDIA a bully and because india has opposed howard's nomination eng,aus(gideon haigh) and Nz are crying foul now.Its better for india to side with its neighbors rather than boards which didn't help it much in the past.

  • mcji5sa2 on July 1, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Gideon while I agree that there should at least be a public statement made by the ICC regarding the decision and thought process behind it, there really is not any reason whatsoever as to why he should be elected anyway (and no argument has been provided for this in your one-sided article either). While he was PM we have to admit he was far from brilliant and statements he's made in the past regarding cricket has often reflected a passionate fan randomly lashing out on cricketers (i.e. murali). Who are the other contenders? I have no idea. Will they be any better than Howard? No idea. While I agree that you do not need to have an amazing resume for this post that does not mean that there will be nobody better suited for the job. To be fair in a corrupt council where tensions already exist, picking a candidate who the vast majority have voted against would do a lot more harm before it does good don't you think?

  • leggully on July 1, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    Oh!! Agree that Mr. Howard might be d best person to lead the ICC,but if 6 member boards have reservations about him as President, its quite evident that he wont be able to work cordially with most f d board members..and so rejection of his nomination. In a democratic process wht matters is choice of majority nd in this process sometime man with best qualification also loses..so whtz d issue?? Aussie and NZ boards should have made sure that they have proper numbers before proposing his candidature, if rejection is so much insulting!!

  • aapple on July 1, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    I can actually see some positives coming out of this. If the ICC is suddenly a democratic institution it should be subjected to democratic principles. We could offer up the Kiwi guy on the condition that Zimbabwe's, as well as the BCCI's, account books are made fully transparent. Obviously, Zimbabwe wont accept this and they can be kicked of the ICC

  • SrinR on July 1, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    An unfortunate situation. It is very strange that no concrete reasons have been given, especially by the BCCI. The article seems to suggest there is dysfunction. But in that case the conventional option would have been adopted which means waving him through. That was not so and the board chose to stick its head out and reject the nomination. Is there something else going on which we are not privy to? Or was it simply that too many people disliked the candidate too much? Is that enough of a reason? Surely too many people in important positions have left their motives at the mercy of speculation.

  • obstreperous on July 1, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    @Chully Scorbus has summed up the anti-Howard sentiment nicely: Australia and England ran world cricket "in a discriminatory manner until 1992" and "now it is the turn of the coloured nations". Turn for what? To discriminate, I suppose, and so they have. As others have noted, Howard has the political and administrative experience to lift the ICC's game but some would prefer a likeable or malleable fool in the job.

  • CharonTFm on July 1, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    People are crying "foul" not because Howard lost the election. It's because other nations had told Aus and NZ to choose another nominee because they will not vote for Howard. The fact is ICC started the rotation system and everyone should respect that, they should respect the fact that Aus and NZ has chosen their nominee, and come the day of voting, if Howard doesn't get in then it's all fine. Just nominate someone else. But if you do that before the actual vote, then it smells of Politics. Sport should be free from Politics. Even if Howard was an ex-politician, his experience as a World Leader will do Cricket Good.

  • SettingSun on July 1, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    What the hell is wrong with everyone?! Howard is very unpopular. Very few people wanted him in the ICC. Therefore he didn't get picked. Why are people getting so utterly on their high horse about the rejection of his nomination like he's the only person in the entire world that could do some good for the ICC? It's all completely absurd and those who cannot understand or see why he was rejected must be completely blind.

  • on July 1, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Given that there has been no previous demur to any previously nominated candidates it is incumbent on the various associations to explain why they deviated from procedure this time. Howard meets the only overtly stated selection criteria. He was chosen by ANZ, he has no criminal record. If the ICC wants there to be other selection criteria they can write them down first rather than make them up later. As for this being a repeat of history, if the history being repeated was such a good thing why complain? If it's a bad thing then previously existing bad things don't justify it, they characterise it as wilful malice rather than an error of ideology.

  • Homer_J_Simpson on July 1, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    "its members have given up trying to be FIFA" - I should hope so.

  • NISH67 on July 1, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Gideon Haigh - Your slip is showing mate ! . In a previous article , a pathetic attempt was made to dwell on the supposed positives ??? of howard's candidature whilst at the same time mentioning his various follies amongst which were allegations of racism which led to him being rejected by the aussie electorate . Now that the ICC has taken a democratic decision , haigh cant stand it for the simple reason that one of their "own" has been rejected no matter that he was unsuitable for the job . As far as I can see that goose wont cook mr Haigh ! . A little bit less belligerence and bias will be welcome in future articles as you do also have a journalistic responsibility lest you forget !

  • Mr.Prem on July 1, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Gideon - Get out of the steam room and think clear. Do you support the politician or the cricket enthusiast? If it is the politician (and if you voted for him or his part on all 4 occasions), join his cause and launch a campaign to bring him back to power. If it is the cricket enthusiast - join him @ MCC for the next match vs Pakistan and have an enjoyable experience.

    ICC is a farce and nominating an ex-PM wont make cricket any poorer. Do not feel sorry for the game entirely on this episode. You still get paid for writing this article, aint ya?

    Cricinfo - Please replace this bloke and get us someone more sensible with a much broader understanding of the game. Definitely not someone with a "2 inches from ground" view of Australia and cricket in Australia

  • Paddle_Sweep on July 1, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Mate,It's a democratic process. If Howard was not able to get the majority as per the democratic process, then it should be rejected. Why miss this point?

    Cheers

  • TobeornottoB on July 1, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    I was really embarrassed when Howard made those stupid comments about Murali. They were not only stupid from a cricket point of view but also remarkably injudicious for any politician to make, let alone the prime minister. I think the unsuitability of these comments alone disqualifies Howard from the ICC post. CA should have thought it through in the first place and never taken his nomination seriously. That was a major error of judgement which smacks of the Australian arrogance that provokes reactions from India, Sri Lanka etc. CA should stop inflating this predictable and sorry episode and propose Anderson immediately. Further, it is not a bad precedent because in future it may be possible to eliminate the automatic nomination process - so hopefully the ICC will avoid another Percy Sonn. So Gideon, I love reading your articles but totally disagree with you here.

  • on July 1, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    As much as I admire your writings Gideon, arguing that cricket should rise above the politics is bizarrely naive of you. As a cricket historian, you of all people should be aware how intertwined cricket and politics are.

  • Samdanh on July 1, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Expect nothing but the degradation of ICC and cricket relations between countries in the near future. One needs to see this as an inevitable calamity and move on.

  • Lees_Legends on July 1, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @ Chully Scorbus: "Howard opposed sporting sanctions against South Africa but supported them against Zimbabwe - very telling". South Africa's government didn't have the reputation of forcing people out of their land and burning farms to the ground, whilst also incorrectly using their power to make living hard. Unless you are referring to the apartheid era which im 99% sure that Howard didnt support.

  • cnqaus on July 1, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Howard's relative merits as a candidate are moot. What sickens me is the usurping of a convention that was put in place, and followed, to ensure everyone got a turn at the table.

  • warewa on July 1, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    when australia and england banned their tour to zimbabwe due to political reasons nobody said anything from this countries, and now when the favour is returened by the zimbabwe everybody so called "neutralist" and "cric masters" are started to cry about sport and politics connection. take it on chin guys, you deserve it.

  • Rags-to-Riches on July 1, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    The argument that it is the "nominating countries' prerogative" to put forth any name they wish is risible. Howard has spent a significant portion of his adult life angering various constituencies with his insensitive and often racially-tinged comments. Why should those constituencies feel bound to accept him? Horrendous, corrupt, and blundering as the BCCI is as an organization, the real problem in world cricket is not India but Australia. It is Australia that rode roughshod over the potential nomination of New Zealand's Anderson, an infinitely more suitable man whose nomination would have sailed through. It is Australians whose persistently thuggish on-field behavior, always boorish and oftentimes outright dishonest, have angered visiting players from Vivian Richards and South Africans to New Zealanders and those from the Indian subcontinent, in short from virtually everywhere. It is no surprise that when they need it, Australians find no support anywhere.

  • gavdog on July 1, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Murali is no longer a chucker. We had to change the rules to make sure of that.

  • thenkabail on July 1, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Gideon, Your pain is understandable. If it was an Asian or African voted out, you would have said, it is plain democracy. Since it is a Australian, you are outraged.

    I agree that it is wrong to keep Mr. Howard out since he is supported by Australian board. But, unfortunately he does not have votes. The ICC Asian and African block is playing the same game that England-Australia played earlier. So, get used to it.

  • KeypaBatsman on July 1, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    Gideon:

    3 countries want to nominate a candidate that 6 other countries oppose. Looks like you want ICC to step back to dictatorship! Let democracy rule.

  • RanjanMathur on July 1, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Its funny, if the boards have the rights to block someones election and they have used it, why are people so upset. I think Sri Lanka had vaild reasons, there were racist remarks made by him for Murli and being a prime Minister of a country doesn't necessarily make you an automatic choice. I think the cricketing nations should acknowledge the fact that the power center has shifted to Asian countries and so they shoudl be ready to accept the fact that if these countries do not like something they can protest or block elections of such people at power yeilding positions. I think it is totally justified, they havn't blocked god...they have just blocked the election of someone that they didn't like.

  • jpa170478 on July 1, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Marcio, the racism card about Australia, like England or America is overplayed in the sub-continent. All three countries are now very multi-cutural and much more accepting to people from other nations. As Indian friends of mine who have travelled a lot have told me, the racism card gets brought up by weak governments who know they have done little and in some case feel like they can do little in regards to helping the people of their own country. Their governments should be much more worried about doing a job. Michael comparisons with Mugabe that is rediculous the guy is a dictator. We need to be sensible with our comparissons not over the top. Gideon is right on the mark. There have been very fair comments about how England etc use to run cricket, but do the "new" superpowers of world cricket want to keep making the same kind of mistakes. With the quota system in South Africa, we are seeing mistakes there and cricket players deciding to play for England instead

  • bkraks21 on July 1, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Another jealous Auusie-English who seems pissed off because the power has shifted to the Subsontinent and the lesser teams. Aus n Eng have enjoyd supremacy for too long..and by the way why Gideon along with few others keep blaming India. Even if India had supported the Supreme Leader it would have made 4 votes and the idiot needed 7. Who made this author a historian who is clearly biased in his views. This kind of poeple are the ones who glorify the wrong ones and write wrong history.

  • akbarmajor on July 1, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Can understand writers frustration..seems to be an Australian...

  • Paynda on July 1, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Gideon has lost his compsure and is crying like a toodler for not making his favourite pal, his school team captain.

    There is no more objectivity to this piece.

    "John Howard was content to serve a waiting period of two years as vice-president".. Oh yeah that is a rule Mr Gideon, how kiddish for you to think that he has agreed to obey to the rule is itself a great acheivement and speak about the godness of the person.

    I don't think ICC members or rest of the world has a problem with a Australlian becoming ICC president. It is with John Howard who is have a rather scruplous history we are against and rightly so. Everyone know why John Howard is oppposed it is not simply people didn't like him. people didn't like him for a reason. You know it, the world knows it, you choose to keep your eye and ears shut.

  • on July 1, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    He should be very careful using this sentence..

    "Ultimately, however, responsibility lies with the chaotic, fratricidal, law-unto-itself Board of Control for Cricket in India, for had it chosen to back Howard, the decision would have gone through on the nod."

    What the BCCI is doing. ? or ICC..or for the matter cricket.org.?

  • Rahul_78 on July 1, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    The whole article wld hv got greater credibility if gideon had wasted some of his time and energy to question CA as to why it didnt manage to come up with a better alternative thn mr.howard or how CA managed to out bully NZ cricket into agreeing mr.howards nomination when they had presented a much better, credible and popular administrative candidate. Also does being selected multiple times for your country makes u elgible to chair a post of independent body? And you also mentioned tht who cares abt mr.pawars new troubles for being so close to modi where u hv been the one who has been most vocal on anything remotely related to mr.modi on cricinfo since start of ipl3. Unfortunately gideon u have come across as someone whos ego has been hurt with this latest snub. We always expect better from you with the talents you have got as a writer and understanding u hv of these complex issues. Thts why Ian chappell is always my favorite cricket writer and commentator from down under.

  • honestbharani on July 1, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Yeah Gideon, those great precedents set by Malcolm Speed are being returned with interest now.. And who needs a guy for whom it is apparently a "step down" (at least per you, Gideon) as the president? Gimme someone who thinks it is a privilege any day... And yeah, just because Howard as a PM of Australia doesn't mean he shoudl get elected to every other post... ICC is more than just Australia, in case you haven't noticed. There is a piece here by Sambit Bal which makes a million times more sense than this piece of whining.

  • on July 1, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Why is it that every Australian coloumnist is hitting out at the BCCI? Yes, they have used their clout to their advantage, but then again, who doesn't? What about the times when Australia and England had veto power? Nothing malicious was written about those Boards. And how can it be said that had India not objected, Howard's nomination would've gone through? Sri Lanka had expressed their reservations long before there was such a hue and cry about the nomination. And you really can't expect us to believe that the BCCI and PCB colluded to produce this result especiall when the 2 countries (including the 2 cricket boards) are at logger-heads with each other about every trivial issue.

  • Browndog1968 on July 1, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    hahahaha you guys don't get it. It's not about whether he is the best person for the job. The fact that the power hungry corrupt individuals who currently run world cricket have voted against his nomination is proof enough he is the best person for the job. They are just plain scared that this candidate has the ability to show them up for the bumbling bafoons they are. I have a suggestion, Australia should withdraw from world cricket and along with England, New Zealand, West Indies, Ireland, Denmark and Canada start their own competition.

  • AshishKeshri on July 1, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    Does it even matter that who is the president or vice-president of ICC..ceremonial posts in the ceremonial body..what significant work they do anyways..But its really amazing to see that how soon the whole incident has taken the undertone of Ind vs. Aus / India's-growing-power-and-ruining-of-cricket theories...give all the sports lovers a break all u cynics...Why don't we understand that politicians have no race, religion or nationality..they will behave similarly whichever country they belong to..and ICC IS a strictly political body with very less to do with actual playing of the game. Moreover, cricket was not destroyed in 100+ years when Eng/Aus administered it so please stop worrying about India's administration...Changes do happen..

  • on July 1, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    @Marcio : "One only has to look at the comments written on cricinfo and the internet by certain national groups to see that the idea of 'prejudice' is not confined to white people in Australia"

    I could not agree more! I personally do not care who gets elected as ICC President as chances are he will be as bad as all his predecessors, but to see my favorite sport torn apart by issues of race and prejudice so regularly - is sad. This is 2010 - people! The world has moved on.......why can't we all play nice and support the game we love

  • on July 1, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    As somebody already pointed out, Howard is a controversial and divisive person. CA should have had the foresight and the pragmatism to nominate a better candidate.

  • dmudge on July 1, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Well said. People can talk all they want about 50 over cricket but the main problem with world cricket now is the administration. If only Kerry Packer were still alive he could come and set up an alternative where the players and the games are the main thing.

  • Sach_is_Life on July 1, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Cry baby Cry..Keep Whining..Its not gonna change anything..BTW,Mr.Haigh,I'm still waiting 4 an unbiased article 4m you..but thats Ok..i can wait..:)

  • joe_pastafarian on July 1, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Ridiculous rant about the innocuous 'welfare of the game comment' !

  • Ash20 on July 1, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Hey Gideon, it looks you have lost your memory. Pick up old newsapers in South-East Asia & China during 90's when Mr. Howard was PM of Australia and you will find his comments again Asians derogatory and he kept silence during time of Pauline Hanson comments against Asian. What about democracy now when mojority rejected Mr. Howard? It's good that Mr. Howard nomination was rejected. Also, just look at cricinfo homepage vote/survey of general public who emphatically refected Mr. Howard. I would have been happy if you guys (Aus-NZ-Eng) rejected Mr. Pawar also as he also doesn't deserve this post (same for Mr. Speed).

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 1, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Frankly...The ICC has proven for sometime to be a fairly incompetent board n does not properly deal with many issues in the manner that a governing body should. I doubt that this will change NO MATTER WHO IS PRESIDENT. As far as I'm concerned, the nominations r just a matter of ritual i.e. u'r turn to hav a figure head now n u'r turn 2 have a figure head tommorow. I have my suspicions that this is the reason why NZ n Aus r upset...they're turn jus got messed up, n the ritual is broken. What needs to be contested is the entire ICC structure,manifesto and overall policy, more so than who ever is nominated.

  • cricket_for_all on July 1, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    This Article doesn't make any sense at all. First of all, He is rejected democratically. The rejection tells us he is not qualified for the job. All cricket playing nations don't need to believe that Mr. Howard will change his character once he is selected as ICC president. If I have a vote I will definitely check the background of the nominee. So 70% of voters don't like his background. The meaning of background is his past actions (70% of the voters did a good homework).

  • on July 1, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Even as an outsider it was quite evident that Howard's nomination was going to hit the buffers. Why are you so surprised and hurt? It is not a anti Aussie vote, It is anti Howard vote. Now there is talk of renominating him. Suckers for punishment aren't they?

  • akaps786 on July 1, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    please read this artcle by mr. christian ryan written in 2004 when sri lanka toured australia. should answer all those guys who r dissaponted on y he was rejected. u reap wht u sown http://www.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/139495.html thanks

  • TheOnlyEmperor on July 1, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    Wow! Howard gets rejected and Giddy Hi seems to think this has brought "cricket's global governance to a grave new low". It must hurt the Oz pride that their "leader" has been so summarily rejected. And they want reasons while being immune to the fact that nobody likes the boorish Oz attitude, their crass rudeness and the fact that they live in abject denial of the racist wrongs they commit! One almost expected them to sledge the umpires and players this FIFA WC. How could one even defend Howard after he defends sledging and the Oz still don't get it that sledging is unacceptable. Obviously there's still some room for civilization. And who could forget the Murli comment? Of course all would have been well if the Indians had supported, but why should they when the Oz are busy bashing up their students in Oz land?

  • mohankrish on July 1, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Great article. Terrific opening line. It does resonate strongly with me IN PART. I do have a problem with one point you do NOT make. And that involves that word "trust". Do you think Sri Lanka would trust a man at the top of the ICC tree after his utterances against their beloved son, while in a position of power bestowed on him by the good people of Australia no less than four times? The fact that the good people of Australia showered their love on that honorable man four times should mean diddly squat to the people of Sri Lanka! They do not have trust in the ICC-man Australia has chosen. Simple. Ditto Zimbabwe. If Zimbabwe offered Robert Mugabe for the job, I hope you would scream if the ICC just bent over backwards to elect him President. Ultimately, Howard just did not have friends in ICC member countries. This is not an insult to Australians or to Howard. That said, the ICC has, in my view, sunk to new lows because it showed again that it is political, moribund and powerless.

  • on July 1, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    must be excruciating huh giddy? lovin this. i suppose u were quite impressed with speeds reign, ceo et al ... go on call me racist ... pleases me no end to see so much venom in ur articles ... 33 n counting n a lot of 'cricket history' for sure ... lol

  • Willowarriers on July 1, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Ridiculous --- why should any reasons be given unless legally required. If you start questioning moves in the world of power and politics and start mixing in righteous indignation one will never get anywhere and I don' think this is such a conclusive 'low' as Mr. Haigh would have one believe (just go back into the history of cricket and I am sure one will stumble upon more 'lowly' examples). Yes, the Afro-Asian block defeated his proposed candidature. Aussies never take no for an answer be it on the cricket field or off it!

    Lets say if an official from Zimbabwe was put up as a candidate --- lets see how fast an Aussie veto would come out... irrespective of whether the chap as a person is competent or not. Perceptions drive the world Mr. Haigh - that's why it is said: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; what goes around always comes around... its a pity people only feel it when it happens to them or one of their own

  • chokkashokka on July 1, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    The grand poo-bah will have to be content in remaining a cricket tragic. Moral of the story - you can't expect the people whom you burnt when you were in power to vote for you when you need them. Is this divisive figure the only person CA could find? Democratic processes are about building consensus - this guy was an lose cannon when he was in office - un-statesmanlike and making unwarranted comments about visiting sportsmen. He will make the PCB look like saints if he gets to the ICC. This guy lost the election - get over it and find someone else. CA and England had veto powers at the ICC for over a hundred year. What is this with CA and Howard about gross abuses of the past (whether it is ICC or their attitude towards the indigenous population in their country) and remaining in denial.

  • prabwal on July 1, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    everyone knew what was coming.australia and newzealand also knew about the reservations of the other members of the ICC with Howard.so, why did they put him forward in the first place ? u have got the turn to nominate, alright, but still u need to respect the sentiments of the other nations.and why on earth india should have influenced others to get Howard elected ? in that situation, bcci must have been praised for its leadership ! this is quite an opportunistic mentality. if u do as we wish, u r angel, and if u don't, u r a devil ! and please don't use the usual black vs white card here. it has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with the person nominated. u are asking the reason for his rejection, well, in that case u should also provide the reason for his selection.u might say, ''we didn't ask anything like this from u in the past'', well, why didn't u ? after all, opposing something that u think is not right has never been a low point in human history.

  • Percy_Fender on July 1, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    There is nothing crude about John Howard's rejection. Seven of the member countries have rejected not an Australian but one Mr John Howard a man better known for his racist credentials than any Prime Ministerial skills. It is not Indian clout that caused his rejection. In fact it probably was the other way around when the other six boards prevailed upon the BCCI which was initially in support of Howard. What amazes me is a politician's total lack of understanding of the public mood. The writing on the wall said clearly that Howard will lose. Many people said why. If he had had any self respect he would have withdrawn.And now we hear of this shameless man making another go at this job.He must be one of those who can only read in the limelight.

  • dinosaurus on July 1, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Chilly Scorbus

    Australia was slow to implement sporting sanctions against (white) South Africa, that is true (but faster than either New Zealand or England). If you count "rebel" tours, faster even than West Indies.

    For that matter, Australia (under Malcolm Fraser) was one of the most active countries involved in the final ascension of Robert Mugabe to power in Zimbabwe.

    The facts get in the way of your "story".

  • Sitting-on-a-gate on July 1, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    Ah yes, the now familiar vuvuzela like rant from the Haigh about BCCI the big brother, was wondering why it was so late in coming. First he says the BCCI should have thrown in its weight behind Howard, then he goes on to thrash BCCI for the next two paragraphs. The very people who object to politicizing Howards nomination seems to have had no qualms about Howard (& CA in general) politicising cricket. Why indeed would CA have skipped so many series and matches - Politics or was it real concern? Open your eyes a bit more Mr. Haigh, remove the glasses of prejudice against BCCI that seems to cloud your vision and see what 70% of the cricketing nations (and about 99% of the opininions in this site) have said - Mr. Howard is not acceptable. Now you cannot fault democracy in the ICC and then criticize Mugabe in the same breath, can you? Find a Kangaroo from the outback will you, I am sure it stands a better chance of becoming ICC prez than Howard...

  • CricFan78 on July 1, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Shouldnt this article be renamed to Gideon has stooped to new low. As someone who has criticised IPL and BCCI and anything Indian for their administration its funny how he backs Howard who is known hated figure because of his statements, policies. Maybe Gideon voted for Howard during Tampa affair.

  • jillpreston on July 1, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    those veto powers were good once upon a time, weren't they? One could completely ignore 90% of the cricketing world

  • mikecnz on July 1, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    I like how New Zealand gets bullied into nominating Howard by Australia in the first place, and then forced into releasing statements about we stand by him after he's been rejected.

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Hard to see the ICC being taken seriously as a sporting body. Say what you like about Howard, he was more than qualified for this job.

  • Tragically on July 1, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Well put Mr Haigh, and thank you. I only hope that this issue doesn't get the usual 1 week media cycle and then is dropped and the ICC (Indian Cricket Council) get away with this monstrosity. Please continue to fight this issue because little by little, the schoolyard bully ICC is poisoning our beloved game for its own ends.

  • mallik_1010 on July 1, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    This article does not make any sense to me. Seems like lot of people crying foul because he lost the election. You wise people can argue for the next ten years whether he deserved it or not, but the point is he doesn't have the votes behind him. Time for him to go and the next candidate to come in. I personally don't have any respect for him after what he said about Murali!

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    It's funny that Haigh, who calls himself a cricket historian, fails to see that this is just a repeat of cricketing history in reverse. Australia and England ran world cricket in a patronising and discriminatory manner until 1992. Even the fact that South Africa did not deign to play against non-white nations before it was excluded from world sport did not bother either London or Canberra.

    Now it is the turn of the coloured nations to wield power - and why would one expect them to be any less crude? Howard opposed sporting sanctions against South Africa but supported them against Zimbabwe - very telling.

    Why would a cricketing body that is largely composed of non-white sporting bodies agree to have a man who has such an attitude be their chief executive?

    Cricket has always been about politics - that's why it means more to the West Indies to defeat England than any other cricket-playing nation. Why does Haigh expect the politics to disappear when it comes to Howard?

  • Marcio on July 1, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Certain elements in the sub-continent have become deeply anti-Australian, both at official and popular levels. Any minor perceived sleight is put under the microscope and expanded way beyond the reality of the actual issue. The idea that Howard is racist because he criticised an African dictator is idiotic. Or take the idea that he said something about Mandela - little more than a rumour. In the end the only thing he has done which might make him 'contentious' is to suggest that Murali's bowling action is illegal, and that was a long time ago. All this stuff about Australians being racist? - Australia is a heavily multi-cultural country. So many of my friends in Australia are Asian & African. I never had any problems when going out with them. Australia is a friendly country, and my Chinese wife loves it. One only has to look at the comments written on cricinfo and the internet by certain national groups to see that the idea of 'prejudice' is not confined to white people in Australia

  • Surya.Sripati on July 1, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Longest tenure as PM Australia is no good reason or qualification for ICC's top post. As you cribbed all through the article that the other members gave 'no reason' for not accepting the nomination - where the hell did you mention 'why his nomination should be accepted?' apart from saying that it is ANZs turn now - That in itself is no good reason though other nations might have gotten through using their round.

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Hey Gideon, why is it such a grave new low? The man had a public record of utterences and actions that were scrutinised and people are free to form opinions about his suitability for such a diplomatic role. Would you or critics of this decision been so even handed and gracious if Mugabe or Lalit Modi or some other divisive figure was nominated? You know as I know living in Australia, he was a divisive politician and he must reap what he sowed. Travelling to Asia in the late 90's, we were the laughing stock of Asia NOT for the biggoted comments of Pauline Hanson, but Howards silence over them. Do these things not count for anything at all??

  • Pat_Muld on July 1, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Great as always gideon! I'm no Howard fan, but this is a shocking low point for the ICC

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  • Pat_Muld on July 1, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Great as always gideon! I'm no Howard fan, but this is a shocking low point for the ICC

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Hey Gideon, why is it such a grave new low? The man had a public record of utterences and actions that were scrutinised and people are free to form opinions about his suitability for such a diplomatic role. Would you or critics of this decision been so even handed and gracious if Mugabe or Lalit Modi or some other divisive figure was nominated? You know as I know living in Australia, he was a divisive politician and he must reap what he sowed. Travelling to Asia in the late 90's, we were the laughing stock of Asia NOT for the biggoted comments of Pauline Hanson, but Howards silence over them. Do these things not count for anything at all??

  • Surya.Sripati on July 1, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Longest tenure as PM Australia is no good reason or qualification for ICC's top post. As you cribbed all through the article that the other members gave 'no reason' for not accepting the nomination - where the hell did you mention 'why his nomination should be accepted?' apart from saying that it is ANZs turn now - That in itself is no good reason though other nations might have gotten through using their round.

  • Marcio on July 1, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Certain elements in the sub-continent have become deeply anti-Australian, both at official and popular levels. Any minor perceived sleight is put under the microscope and expanded way beyond the reality of the actual issue. The idea that Howard is racist because he criticised an African dictator is idiotic. Or take the idea that he said something about Mandela - little more than a rumour. In the end the only thing he has done which might make him 'contentious' is to suggest that Murali's bowling action is illegal, and that was a long time ago. All this stuff about Australians being racist? - Australia is a heavily multi-cultural country. So many of my friends in Australia are Asian & African. I never had any problems when going out with them. Australia is a friendly country, and my Chinese wife loves it. One only has to look at the comments written on cricinfo and the internet by certain national groups to see that the idea of 'prejudice' is not confined to white people in Australia

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    It's funny that Haigh, who calls himself a cricket historian, fails to see that this is just a repeat of cricketing history in reverse. Australia and England ran world cricket in a patronising and discriminatory manner until 1992. Even the fact that South Africa did not deign to play against non-white nations before it was excluded from world sport did not bother either London or Canberra.

    Now it is the turn of the coloured nations to wield power - and why would one expect them to be any less crude? Howard opposed sporting sanctions against South Africa but supported them against Zimbabwe - very telling.

    Why would a cricketing body that is largely composed of non-white sporting bodies agree to have a man who has such an attitude be their chief executive?

    Cricket has always been about politics - that's why it means more to the West Indies to defeat England than any other cricket-playing nation. Why does Haigh expect the politics to disappear when it comes to Howard?

  • mallik_1010 on July 1, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    This article does not make any sense to me. Seems like lot of people crying foul because he lost the election. You wise people can argue for the next ten years whether he deserved it or not, but the point is he doesn't have the votes behind him. Time for him to go and the next candidate to come in. I personally don't have any respect for him after what he said about Murali!

  • Tragically on July 1, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Well put Mr Haigh, and thank you. I only hope that this issue doesn't get the usual 1 week media cycle and then is dropped and the ICC (Indian Cricket Council) get away with this monstrosity. Please continue to fight this issue because little by little, the schoolyard bully ICC is poisoning our beloved game for its own ends.

  • on July 1, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Hard to see the ICC being taken seriously as a sporting body. Say what you like about Howard, he was more than qualified for this job.

  • mikecnz on July 1, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    I like how New Zealand gets bullied into nominating Howard by Australia in the first place, and then forced into releasing statements about we stand by him after he's been rejected.

  • jillpreston on July 1, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    those veto powers were good once upon a time, weren't they? One could completely ignore 90% of the cricketing world