July 4, 2010

Cricket's fig leaf of democracy

To be legit, democracy needs to meet certain preconditions. In cricket, legitimacy is something the boards have been happy to overlook, as shown by the Howard affair
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"I'm not worried because it's a democratic organisation," said Sharad Pawar, the International Cricket Council's new president, after last week's executive board meeting in Singapore. The mystery is which organisation he was talking about. Amnesty International? The Boy Scout Movement? It certainly can't have been the ICC.

On the other hand, there seem to be others claiming in the aftermath of Howard's thwarting to have glimpsed democracy in action, six out of 10 constituting a majority. They prove only that they can count; otherwise they demonstrate a decidedly loose grasp of how democracy operates.

People in a room having a vote is not democracy. It depends on who they are, how they got there, and how faithfully they follow the rules of their organisation. Not even lots of people voting freely does a democracy make. Lots of people voted freely in South Africa in the days of apartheid; many more did not. Lots of people voted in Zimbabwe in 2008; guns spoke louder.

To be legitimate, democracy depends on several preconditions. One is an open and transparent election process. Can the ICC executive board boast of this? So far there has been neither a vote nor even a discussion, merely a letter, giving no reason for the opposition to Howard, or the last-minute changes of heart of several countries.

To be legitimate, too, those making decisions require legitimacy themselves. And here, I think, it becomes quite interesting. By disputing John Howard's credentials to be ICC vice-president, the naysayers turn attention on their own credentials - and, to be fair, on those of the prosayers too.

The executive board of the ICC is not elected. Individuals are appointed by the boards of control that are its members. How are they appointed? It varies. There are chairmen. There are presidents. There are chief executives. Some have been selected by constituent associations, some by governments; the default route into the BCCI, for instance, is to become the chief minister of a state. Easy really. All you have to do is join a political party, suck up to the right people and knife the rest for 20 years or so - presto, you're a cricket administrator.

How, meanwhile, did Ijaz Butt get the job of being chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board? Myself, I think he was appointed to make him feel better about being Ijaz Butt. Someone in authority probably considered him a "safe pair of hands". Yep, just as smooth and steady as Kamran Akmal's.

Anyway, you're getting the idea. Here's a couple of questions. By what measure are cricket administrators actually representative of their countries, as distinct from the self-perpetuating administrative autocracies that bear those countries' names? Because if you're going to start brandishing the d-word round, you really should be able to invoke some sort of mandate yourself.

Is the ICC executive board genuinely motivated by the interests of world cricket, or those of its members' increasingly pressing short-term needs, like the desperation of Pakistan to renew cricket competition with India, or of Zimbabwe to sneak back in via the side door?

And is the ICC executive board genuinely motivated by the interests of world cricket, or those of its members' increasingly pressing short-term needs, like the desperation of Pakistan to renew cricket competition with India, or of Zimbabwe to sneak back in via the side door? Because if it's simply the latter, then there is no point to it: a system of bilateral relations, with India at their centre, would serve just as well, and actually be more honest.

Legitimacy is something cricket governance has tended to overlook, mainly out of mutual politeness: boards tacitly agree not to talk about one another's tinpot dictatorships lest it draw attention to their own. But it's starting to matter, because there are new influences in cricket governance. Vijay Mallya and Mukesh Ambani, for instance, are already more powerful men than Ijaz Butt ever was. And whatever you may think of the Indian Premier League, its franchise owners have made good on promises to fans and to players - they have set out to earn legitimacy, as well as to buy it. In this respect, the IPL amply deserves its popularity: as the BCCI never has, franchises have given fans a fair deal, and players probably more than a fair deal. To what degree can this be said of any of the boards of control currently so proud of themselves for speaking truth to power, acting on their consciences, signing a one-paragraph letter and opting out of further discussion?

But why pick on India and Pakistan, apart from the fun of seeing the comments section phosphoresce with fury? Australia's system is a 105-year-old antique. It has a certain vernacular charm: basically you join the committee of a first-grade cricket club, gather together enough mates to boost you to a state association, then wait for sufficient numbers to float you on to Cricket Australia. A degree of sucking up and knifing may be expedient here too; you will certain have to buy many rounds of drinks.

Now, the board of Cricket Australia are a pleasant bunch of coves. But they're not exactly dynamic, nor would one say they were overqualified; on occasion they can be pretty damn parochial. How big is the talent pool from which they are drawn? Decidedly small. How representative are they of all cricket's constituencies - men, women, children, players, fans? Not very. CA is not the worst cricket government going round, by any means: I noted with concern Prem Panicker's recent disclosure of a rare medical condition in which hearing "BCCI" and "professional" in the same sentence caused him to break into paroxysms of laughter. But phew… is that bar set low or what?

A criticism of Cricket Australia's nomination of Howard runs this way: was there nobody else in the circles of Australian cricket administration with the nous, gravitas and willingness to fill the ICC presidency? I'm bound to say it's a very good question, and after an embarrassing pause the answer really has to be no. Regrettably, if Australia took the job of the ICC presidency seriously at all, an appointment from outside traditional cricket administration was unavoidable - perhaps also because anyone with a background in the ICC's history and its characters would run a mile.

There's a good argument, too, that this applies more generally. Cricket has changed more in the last three years than the previous 30. If ever past knowledge was trading at a discount and new thinking was at a premium, it is now. Chief executives today flit between industries as a matter of course: it is nothing to see oil men running banks, management consultants running IT companies. Yet some running cricket still see their realm as so unique that they will accept nobody who hasn't put out a slips cradle or erected a set of nets. Who are they kidding? Apart from themselves, I mean.

Okay, so who in these circumstances were Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to choose? The criteria… well, there weren't any. And this, one can only imagine, was a planned absence. Remember: this presidential rotation system is only as old as the wrangle about which of David Morgan and Sharad Pawar went first as ICC president. It was conceived of because, perhaps wisely, nobody thought the council capable of handling a process that involved other than a rubber stamp.

So there were no prerequisites of involvement in cricket administration; no requirement to be other than a sentient biped. All the nomination had to be was the duly chosen representative of CA and NZC, and, apparently, have no criminal record. It could have been Kylie. It could have been Russ. God knows, it could have been Hoges.

Loves cricket. Some administrative experience, from involvement in the set-up of World Series Cricket. Popular overseas - more than in Australia, actually. Similar attitude to tax as the ICC. No criminal record - well, not yet anyway, unless you count Almost an Angel. Mick Dundee's knife might have added a frisson to executive board meetings.

It must have been assumed that Hoges had his hands full with the Australian Taxation Office, because the nomination went to John Howard. I won't rehash the arguments for and against him: they are worn out and, in the absence of further and better particulars about the ICC executive board's objections, speculative.

Howard was a controversial politician with a populist knack that sometimes expressed itself crudely, in policies that were punitive, draconian and base - although, irony of ironies, Australia was actually a more culturally and ethnically diverse country at the end of the prime ministership than before it.

I don't doubt the sincerity of several of his critics now; it's not as if I haven't myself harboured several of the views they're expressing now. By the same token, some self-appointed experts on Howard in India at the moment seem to have a fairly casual acquaintance with Australian domestic politics: one tabloid TV jock who interviewed me last week kept calling him "the prime minister of Australia and New Zealand".

Consider this, too: Howard's candidature was disclosed at the beginning of January. His selection by CA/NZC was announced two months later. The response at the time, or so it appeared, was shrugs all round. Sharad Pawar rang Howard to express pleasure at the prospect of working with him; Haroon Lorgat rang to introduce himself and his organisation. Sri Lanka were imagined to hold reservations, but their board secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga, stated: "We know that Howard as prime minister ruffled a few feathers calling Muttiah Muralitharan a chucker, but that is now a thing of the past. We don't want to harp on it anymore. We have to look to the future and try to work cordially with whoever is elected to the ICC post. We have no control over people elected to that position."

About that "no control" bit: you could argue that this was stupid, and you wouldn't have a bad case. Theoretically, if not practically, the ICC presidency is cricket's number one job: it is a travesty that it should basically be an empty slot to be filled for two years by whomever's go it is. Other sports administrators create dynasties: Joao Havelange, Avery Brundage, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. ICC presidents take turns: the guy from India, him from England, that bloke whatsisname from Pakistan.

There were no prerequisites of involvement in cricket administration; no requirement to be other than a sentient biped. All the nomination had to be was the duly chosen representative of CA and NZC, and, apparently, have no criminal record. It could have been Kylie

It is, however, a travesty of the ICC's own and very recent making. And it was the process. CA, by the way, is a great believer in process. It's a watchword. Cereal for breakfast? There is a "process". They will be getting the Corn Flakes from the pantry. They will be adding milk. Eating will then commence. James Sutherland is an exceedingly methodical man, sometimes to a fault, but once he has a process, he nags away at it like Glenn McGrath.

Then the process changed. We still don't know when. We still don't know why. It may be as simple as the process dragging out, giving the opportunity for second, third and fourth thoughts. The ICC executive board were meant to vote in April, but the attendance was disrupted by Eyjafjallajökull. It came to pass that the executive board did not make a view known until six months after Howard was known to be in the running for the job: if his existence was so obviously a mortal offence to all right-thinking persons, why did his antagonists wait so long, so that the ICC now has no vice-president, and a high-profile and very fully-employed president who'll be able to give his job at least half an hour a fortnight, every other month, with a bit of luck, if he's not too busy?

There is now a perverse pleasure in circles in Asia and Africa that Howard was scotched - sic semper tyrannis and all that. But what transpired was a pathetic, even a cowardly squib. Howard tried to meet Mtutuzeli Nyoka in Johannesburg. Nyoka decided to go to the football instead. Howard went on to Harare to meet Zimbabwe's Peter Chingoka. Chingoka, apparently, was charm personified.

So what transpired in Singapore last week was a teeny weeny fig leaf of democracy to cover a dirty great embarrassment of decrepit and disintegrating oligarchy, for it reflects not the ICC executive board's profound commitment to fair play and friendliness, but its growing crisis of legitimacy. The boards involved are watching their sovereignty eroded on all sides, by India, by the IPL, by the players' increasing commercial mobility, by fans' desertion of their marquee Test match product, by the encroachments of their governments and corporations. All they have left are cynical, populist gestures like saying boo to John Howard. And, as they say, never stand between a politician and a cynical, populist gesture - you will be trampled in the rush.

Because, of course, the members of the ICC executive board, even if they pose as cricket administrators, are politicians by any other name. Not that this is totally to be deplored: these days, that goes with the territory. What's wrong is that they're mediocre, self-protecting, sinecured politicians who speak not for their countries but for their board's predominant clique, and whose supervening policy is to remain on India's right side. Say what you will of John Howard, and also of Sharad Pawar, but at least they know what an actual democratic mandate feels like.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 4, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Gideon, there are three seperate issues at hand here, and here you just elaborated on just one aspect 1. John Howard was not a great choice to be the head of a multi-ethnic international organistaions. He is known for being a racist, not supporting sactions against an aparthied SA, while being the first one to put sanctions on Zimbabwe and also using the One Australia policy.

    2. The inability of the so called 'white' nations to accept South Asia esp. India as the cricketing superpower. England and Australia, who when they ruled the board during the last century mistreated all 'non-white' countries, are now being pushed around by a dominant India. Well, what goes around comes around. I have also heard suggestions that Aus, Eng and NZ will form their own board. Well, lets see how many austrlaian players will be interested in playing domestic cricket if we start having a 9 month IPL.

    3. And finally, as you mentioned, the inability of ICC to do anything as a transparent organistaion.

  • krajk on July 4, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Gideon,If it was CSA and CZIM's turn for the role of presidency and they nominated Mugabe, who lets assume for arguments sake says his past is history and that he is now a reformed man, would CA/NZ/ECB accept his nomination? Before you stand up for this Howard dude, can you place your hand on heart and say he was better than John Anderson for the post. Strangely your sense of fairness does not get rekindled when Anderson/CNZ gets dumped. I did not see your comments on this so called arbitration which led to Howard getting nominated. Everyone could see the storm brewing except CA/yourself. Howard as an ex-politician made choices which made him unpopular among non-whites and some white Aussies as well. Amongst all Howard clearly knew the implications of his actions made as the head of a state. There are no comebacks in his line of work.It is has now become a question of ego and loss of face which CA stupidly got entangled into. I am afraid he has to go. Don't cry about BCCI's influence.

  • illayathalapathy on July 4, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    Well Mr GH has clearly stepped out of the line by criticizing other countries democratic process of Appointing a candidate. The Funny part is let us hear your 5 cents on why Anderson was not chosen and what exactly was the democratic process followed there... well is guess u cant typically australian...

  • Manoj1234 on July 4, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    This column seems to e a rant of a psychologically traumatized person. Really does not make any sense what he is trying to say except grieving and ranting over what happened. Manoj

  • Sanj-the-Aussie on July 4, 2010, 18:55 GMT

    Gideon, On this I feel you have got it wrong. John Howard was not just another controversial Prime Minister, he was a racist. Evidence pre dates him becoming a PM. He did not act against Pauline Hanson until his vote was being impacted. There are other numerous other examples of his racist behaviour. I know them in great detail because I grew up in Australia. Thankfully a few months after he was elected I left the country, though I return regularly for work & family reasons.

    You talk of process, but that only works when things go along without major shifts - I know, it is my area of expertise. When major changes arise, leadership is the key. The leaders made a call, which may break the "agreements", but irrespective of their willingness to communicate it, a decision has been made.

    I would never have accepted John Howard as the leader of world cricket. It is to the benefit of cricket that this racist has not be granted his desire to "administer the game on a world wide basis."

  • Zigor on July 4, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    Gideon, It's getting Boring ! Stop saying crazy things about India. They are infact doing a nice job for the world of cricket. Your articles are getting idiotic. I feel sorry for you.

  • Gee_Cambs on July 4, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    In my opinion - the fact Haward keeps going on how he still wants this job - despite the controversy - to get more airtime which CANT BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CRICKET - says a lot about this man. He's keeping his ego above the repute of the game - his judgement in this whole controversy shows he never was the right man for the job! The fact remains - he hasnt got the votes - so pack your bags (like you did post aus elections!!). Like some others have pointed out - where was the democracy when he joined US in Iraq even though no resolution from UN

  • pramodjam on July 4, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    I dont see how can JH, a head of a state, call murali (when he was cleared by ICC) a chucker, when he had nothing to do with cricket!! I dont understand how can australians argue there is a foul play when 6 out of 10 nations refuse to accept him!! I dont see how BCCI can control the votes of 7 other nations, and if it really can, well then suck up to them!!

    Just a thought: Imagine what Aussie reaction would have been had Manmohan Singh said (which he would never ever do) : Steve Waugh does not play cricket in the right spirit using his over the board sledging techniques!!

    Aussies say politics has nothing to do with cricket!! Would the world cricket accept it if Narendra Modi nominated by India?? He is an extremely able administrator and quite popular in India!!

    The fact is that JH's political baggage and racist views did him in. 7 nations out of 10 didnt like him, Australians, please accept that and nominate a better candidate.

  • nirvanam on July 4, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Dear Cricinfo Editor and Folks, I, like many others, am a regular user of this website for news & views n cricket.In the interest of improving the website & of course the fans' experience of the website, I'd like to express my views of Mr.Gideon Haigh's presentation of his opinions And I hope some action is taken: either ask Mr.Haigh to change his ways or allow us fans to read articles from someone who can present their opinions respectfully. Over the last many weeks Mr.Haigh has been venomous, indecent, & extremely disrespectful of people he doesn't agree with This trend is disturbing.There are so many writers who hold similar opinions but the presentation of their opinions is decent and respectful.Nt all human beings will have the same opinions and that is fine.What is not fine is being disrespectful of others. Cricinfo needs to introspect if their writers should be sensationalizing idiots like the presenters on news channels like AajTak or dignified and respected by its users

  • habi2010 on July 4, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    well i am Pakistani and i agree with author's opinion. Its harsh but true assessment of the democratic process involved in selection of ICC chief. But i would say "this is how democracy works in India (the largest democracy in the world) and in Pakistan". The problems in international cricket have started after the BCCI got powerful. They started IPL (money, money and money, doesn't matter how it comes), they banned Pakistani cricketers from playing in IPL for political reasons. These controversies are just the beginning and , as Speed doubts, ICC headquarters will be moved to Bombay by year 2012, we will see the worse then for Cricket. I don't care about how BCCI works but my problem is with PCB as how come they changed their mind to oppose Howard and, that too, on the "promises" of BCCI. This was high time to avenge the expulsion of Pakistani players from IPL by going against BCCI but PCB, as usual, ...."tried to maintain good relations with the democratic neighbor"

  • on July 4, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Gideon, there are three seperate issues at hand here, and here you just elaborated on just one aspect 1. John Howard was not a great choice to be the head of a multi-ethnic international organistaions. He is known for being a racist, not supporting sactions against an aparthied SA, while being the first one to put sanctions on Zimbabwe and also using the One Australia policy.

    2. The inability of the so called 'white' nations to accept South Asia esp. India as the cricketing superpower. England and Australia, who when they ruled the board during the last century mistreated all 'non-white' countries, are now being pushed around by a dominant India. Well, what goes around comes around. I have also heard suggestions that Aus, Eng and NZ will form their own board. Well, lets see how many austrlaian players will be interested in playing domestic cricket if we start having a 9 month IPL.

    3. And finally, as you mentioned, the inability of ICC to do anything as a transparent organistaion.

  • krajk on July 4, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Gideon,If it was CSA and CZIM's turn for the role of presidency and they nominated Mugabe, who lets assume for arguments sake says his past is history and that he is now a reformed man, would CA/NZ/ECB accept his nomination? Before you stand up for this Howard dude, can you place your hand on heart and say he was better than John Anderson for the post. Strangely your sense of fairness does not get rekindled when Anderson/CNZ gets dumped. I did not see your comments on this so called arbitration which led to Howard getting nominated. Everyone could see the storm brewing except CA/yourself. Howard as an ex-politician made choices which made him unpopular among non-whites and some white Aussies as well. Amongst all Howard clearly knew the implications of his actions made as the head of a state. There are no comebacks in his line of work.It is has now become a question of ego and loss of face which CA stupidly got entangled into. I am afraid he has to go. Don't cry about BCCI's influence.

  • illayathalapathy on July 4, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    Well Mr GH has clearly stepped out of the line by criticizing other countries democratic process of Appointing a candidate. The Funny part is let us hear your 5 cents on why Anderson was not chosen and what exactly was the democratic process followed there... well is guess u cant typically australian...

  • Manoj1234 on July 4, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    This column seems to e a rant of a psychologically traumatized person. Really does not make any sense what he is trying to say except grieving and ranting over what happened. Manoj

  • Sanj-the-Aussie on July 4, 2010, 18:55 GMT

    Gideon, On this I feel you have got it wrong. John Howard was not just another controversial Prime Minister, he was a racist. Evidence pre dates him becoming a PM. He did not act against Pauline Hanson until his vote was being impacted. There are other numerous other examples of his racist behaviour. I know them in great detail because I grew up in Australia. Thankfully a few months after he was elected I left the country, though I return regularly for work & family reasons.

    You talk of process, but that only works when things go along without major shifts - I know, it is my area of expertise. When major changes arise, leadership is the key. The leaders made a call, which may break the "agreements", but irrespective of their willingness to communicate it, a decision has been made.

    I would never have accepted John Howard as the leader of world cricket. It is to the benefit of cricket that this racist has not be granted his desire to "administer the game on a world wide basis."

  • Zigor on July 4, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    Gideon, It's getting Boring ! Stop saying crazy things about India. They are infact doing a nice job for the world of cricket. Your articles are getting idiotic. I feel sorry for you.

  • Gee_Cambs on July 4, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    In my opinion - the fact Haward keeps going on how he still wants this job - despite the controversy - to get more airtime which CANT BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CRICKET - says a lot about this man. He's keeping his ego above the repute of the game - his judgement in this whole controversy shows he never was the right man for the job! The fact remains - he hasnt got the votes - so pack your bags (like you did post aus elections!!). Like some others have pointed out - where was the democracy when he joined US in Iraq even though no resolution from UN

  • pramodjam on July 4, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    I dont see how can JH, a head of a state, call murali (when he was cleared by ICC) a chucker, when he had nothing to do with cricket!! I dont understand how can australians argue there is a foul play when 6 out of 10 nations refuse to accept him!! I dont see how BCCI can control the votes of 7 other nations, and if it really can, well then suck up to them!!

    Just a thought: Imagine what Aussie reaction would have been had Manmohan Singh said (which he would never ever do) : Steve Waugh does not play cricket in the right spirit using his over the board sledging techniques!!

    Aussies say politics has nothing to do with cricket!! Would the world cricket accept it if Narendra Modi nominated by India?? He is an extremely able administrator and quite popular in India!!

    The fact is that JH's political baggage and racist views did him in. 7 nations out of 10 didnt like him, Australians, please accept that and nominate a better candidate.

  • nirvanam on July 4, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Dear Cricinfo Editor and Folks, I, like many others, am a regular user of this website for news & views n cricket.In the interest of improving the website & of course the fans' experience of the website, I'd like to express my views of Mr.Gideon Haigh's presentation of his opinions And I hope some action is taken: either ask Mr.Haigh to change his ways or allow us fans to read articles from someone who can present their opinions respectfully. Over the last many weeks Mr.Haigh has been venomous, indecent, & extremely disrespectful of people he doesn't agree with This trend is disturbing.There are so many writers who hold similar opinions but the presentation of their opinions is decent and respectful.Nt all human beings will have the same opinions and that is fine.What is not fine is being disrespectful of others. Cricinfo needs to introspect if their writers should be sensationalizing idiots like the presenters on news channels like AajTak or dignified and respected by its users

  • habi2010 on July 4, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    well i am Pakistani and i agree with author's opinion. Its harsh but true assessment of the democratic process involved in selection of ICC chief. But i would say "this is how democracy works in India (the largest democracy in the world) and in Pakistan". The problems in international cricket have started after the BCCI got powerful. They started IPL (money, money and money, doesn't matter how it comes), they banned Pakistani cricketers from playing in IPL for political reasons. These controversies are just the beginning and , as Speed doubts, ICC headquarters will be moved to Bombay by year 2012, we will see the worse then for Cricket. I don't care about how BCCI works but my problem is with PCB as how come they changed their mind to oppose Howard and, that too, on the "promises" of BCCI. This was high time to avenge the expulsion of Pakistani players from IPL by going against BCCI but PCB, as usual, ...."tried to maintain good relations with the democratic neighbor"

  • Praxis on July 4, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Wow, so these kind of articles are being published in cricinfo now! Can't say I'm not disappointed here. But the angry responses are fun to read, so keep writing Mr.Gideon Haigh..............

  • just_another_indian on July 4, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    Mr. Haigh, I guess you donot know or want to read between the lines. John Howard is perceived to have a racial bias and his past comments/views are enough to prove the same. Just as his experience as an administrator is tomtomed, similarly his past racial leanings will be held against him. He will never have the support of the subcontinent and Africa, and it happens so that they hold the aces up their sleeve. So don't waste your ink on ideal situations, which never was (when Australia and England had all the say) and will never will be. Don't try to create ideal situations for Democracy which I can argue does not exist in Australian political system either. ( I guess you still call yourself a democracy)

  • TejasA on July 4, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    Hahahahaha. Mr. Haigh, now that you have expressed your warm opinion about the organizations and people above, lets make sure you wont retailate and start crying when people do the same to you!!!! Oh i forgot.... That is the AUTRALIAN/BRITISH way of doing things.... All rite cry baby, dont cry I will buy you a popsicle :P

  • on July 4, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Haigh, for this once I did not feel like completing the read of your article! Too much biased; beating wrong drums and incomplete evaluation of the situation.

  • SirEngland on July 4, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, sorry mate, stop crying. It's only democarcy when it suits you. As a reporter I think you are biased. I am not expecting this to be printed......talk of democracy. Truth hurts.

  • East_West on July 4, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    G Haigh: please accept my sincere sympathies! If you imply that India is certainly NOT an example of democracy and is corrupt THEN Austrailains are NOT an example of SLEDGING! It is OK if you can disintegrate opposition with SLEDGING/BANTER but You assies cry when others fight back with sledging on the ground, and lament that others don't know how to sledge as if you folks know it all! Listen Cry Baby! Get over it and have a beer! This is what you get in democracy - like it or not! Howard should stick to what he is/was good for - POLITICS! He is a smooth talker- that's about it! May be he couldn't digest the fact that his fate was decided by 3rd world countries that too in CRICKET!!

  • CricketLoversRuleTheWorld on July 4, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    ha ha ha ha ... Love it.. ;)

  • vineetkarthi on July 4, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Blah, Blah, Blah and in summarising GH's article thus (I could even say all his articles on cricinfo) I am being rather nice to him. Wonder why cricinfo dosent want to set some standard for articles published on its website.

  • on July 4, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Hi Writer, I would want to tell you only one thing. Your article will not help the matters. BCCI is the raising sun in the Cricketing world. No one should hide, specially Brit/Aus...Accept the fact and keep quite. Lol

  • nervousnineties on July 4, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, I used to respect you as a writer but I'm sorry to say that you have seriously lost the plot. Please stop digging yourself a deeper hole- you are in danger of being remembered as little more than a Howard-apologist. What a shame.

  • knowledge_eater on July 4, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    There is no democracy any where in the world. Because according to my Philosophy, even a single against individual is failure of Govt. But if you sit back and try to convince every individual before going for vote, then we will never have chance to vote. We all know why are you writing these articles. We all know why Indians are writing these articles. We all know why people are protesting. We all know everything. Its survival of the fittest. We all are leecher of each other, otherwise we wouldn't have reached where we are. If Aus. have closed door for everyone, they wouldn't be there, where they are right now. Every board is business family not real family. Even in real family there are only few family left who help out there own siblings without anything from return. So let's all get real and stop being jealous with each other. Stop acting like "Poor Me". Like we see Pomeranian usually bark more and Huskies bite more than bark. Eventually they are doing the same process. Peace

  • vparisa on July 4, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    Rejection of John Howard sets a precedence. Robert Mugabe/Lalit Modi/Allen Stanford who have abused the game previously can never occupy high profile positions at ICC. And people of Australia/NZ, do you guys really think John Howard is the best candidate for the Job? He failed the election to lead the country why lead an international organization??? John Howard calls Murali a chucker, that ended his possible career at Cricket Administration. What goes around comes around Mr Howard. Its time for the likes of Border/Crowe to lead cricket!! I dont like Sharad Pawar leading cricket, but why nominate a politician from Aus/NZ??

  • Sreerang on July 4, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    At least Howard was not shoved around like Sharad Pawar was shoved off the the dais by the Australian team after taking the trophy from him a few years back.

  • realredbaron on July 4, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Don't see the point of this article! Democracy fails when you don't see your candidate win? Well, Howard is a racist war monger. Adolf Hitler was a bloody brilliant administrator. How many of us would write an article like this when, in hypothetical sense, Hitler fails to win the support of an ICC vice-Presidency? Hitler, Bush, Howard should never win it. It would have been utterly disgusting if Howard was to become ICC President. Just read the comments in Cricinfo and one will realize how most of the people think about Howard. Howard does not know anything about cricket(he called Murali chucker when Murali was adjudged as a legal bowler by an Australian bio-mechanics expert). Howard proved he is insensitive to the Asian block by doing so. Howard called off Zimbabwe tour and mixed sports with politics. Then why are the Aussies so concern about judging Howard on his political agenda now?His attitude to South African apartheid was completely different from the one he showed to Zimbabwe

  • Bang_La on July 4, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    What really worries me is, this Gideon Haigh dude "writes" HISTORY of cricket! I am very very concerned, if he can not correctly report and analyse a real scenario of the present moment, what he will put as history? Its obvious, his "history"book doesn't have names like Sunil Gavaskar or Viv Richards, or Clive LLoyd, even maybe Sachin Tendulker.

  • Sanjeevakki on July 4, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    I niether Dont Like howard nor Pawar..... in first place the one who heads any major institute must not be a politician at all.......... But I'm that BCCI and India is particular calling all the shots in ICC.............. if you reverse BCCI.. i.e. ICCB it is nothing but INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL operated out of INDIA, Such a pleasure to hear this for every Indian like Me:-)

  • SamVT on July 4, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Democracy supports open market policy. There are pros and cons of free economy policy. It is very simple that whoever has economy power governs that game or world market. Other cricket playing should understand this simple formula. They should be thankful to India that they are sharing their cricket earnings with other countries otherwise they should not share by the principle of free economy. If other nations whining about this principle then these countries (UK, Aus and NZ) should share their nations' earnings with other cricket playing nations.

    About Howard; he supported IRAQ war, called Murli a chukker and stopped Aus playing against Zim; AUS and NZ are expecting that a such guy should be elected for ICC, its ridiculous. The guy who can not control his own mouth, how do you expect that he will be able to control ICC matters; Yes he can control either using his own whims or by doing shabby jobs.

    He is not the best, but not also average candidate. He is suitable for AUS job!

  • NY-NY on July 4, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Gideon you article is a laughable commentary on the state of affairs in Aus. What democratic rules Howard followed when he was PM? George W. Bush's rules of twisted and demented democratic rules of Banana Republic? Lol

    Even the die hard and biased Australian journalist like you is having a horrible time explaining why countries should have voted for Howard? In fact the number of reasons I have heard in favor of Howard is Zero. Thats Zero. Nada. Zero.

    What you can not explain either is how (read HOW) Aus removed John Anderson's name from the contention. John is a established cricket administrator and anyone voting against him had to do a lot of explaining. (Read A LOT!)

    The only one reason Howard was not nominated is ... are you ready to hear that or read that.....drum roll please...Howard has no cricket administration experience and he reminds everyone of a leader of Banana Republic George W. Bush. Oops...thats two reasons. (Read TWO!)

  • wanderer1 on July 4, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    What I love about the whole affair is how Howard is being portrayed on one side as being the saviour of cricket and an unscruppable man who could never succumb to his own whims and corruption. The man is more corrupt and has more blood on his hands than the majority of politicians in the whole of the sub-continent, and that's saying something. But alas, this is the western world I'm trying to rationalise. A world where an illegal war waged on false, concocted pretenses which has led to the death of over 1 million innocent lives is equal in their minds at least, to bribery or power manipulation. Let me tell you, it's not. But then again if you look back at the history over the past 200 years when have they ever had the respect for Asians (over the whole continent of Asia). Their lives are just not deemed equal, which is what the ranting is about. How dare the Asians (whomsoever they may be) rise up against western interests. You'd do well to stop treating Howard as a martyr, he isn't.

  • wanderer1 on July 4, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    I find the irony of the notion ofInternational Democracy to once again show the hypocrisy of western nations. Let me remind you of the UN, an all reaching organisation controlled predominantly by western powers with some vested power in China and Russia. Does anyone care that the whole UN system is corrupt and undemoractic? Not at all, because western nations run the show, and invariably tend to pick on and bully the lesser nations. Look at the amount of times western nations and their allies have abused UN laws and gotten away with it, whilst other smaller, poorer, browner nations are slapped with debilitating sanctions if they so much as step out of line. Democracy to most of these nations is about putting poodles in charge who will carry on western interests (look at Afghanistan and Iraq), never about equality or fair representation. And the anger directed at the BCCI and PCB is simply because they can't stand the BCCI having the power and the PCB for having an equal vote.

  • rajalshah on July 4, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    How could Cricinfo allow derogatory statements about various cricket boards by this reporter? This is a biased and racist article. Howard's credentials are besides the point.. This is a new low in reporting on cricinfo.

  • on July 4, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    Howard for ICC role? funny.. what a greedy person he is :)) and people backing him? common Aus & Eng....

  • Bang_La on July 4, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Are you sure Gideon Haigh has no speech problem and says L when he means R?

  • Bang_La on July 4, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    @ kdcricket, great reasoning and YES that is what "true" democracy IS........ just follow their suits and never count votes. However, my only question is, why did Australian votes were counted to buttkick Howard out?

  • dhurandhar007 on July 4, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Giddy - you a cricket historian??? LOL!!! What a joke!!! Forget historian, do you even know what journalism means? Would you have gone equally berserk had Ehsan Mani or Sharad Pawar or any other buffoon from any other country been rejected from any ICC post? Stop ranting and go back to journalism school - start with Journalism 101 . I for one will not be reading any future articles penned by this HISTORIAN. What a fake historian!

  • SandDec on July 4, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    I love love love love love...cricket to death!! So I think I should be selected as VP/P of ICC unanimously( don't need to elect me with a 3/10 vote). This is what I know of- Gideon/John Howard/CA-They are..

    1. Bullies(bullied NZ to submission-when actually it is NZ turn to nominate candidate) 2. Racist(Economic sactions not okay when SA ruled by whites/sactions okay when Zim ruled by blacks) 3. Bad at maths(7/10 is not majority) 4. Double standards okay(when they held power to veto everything along with England) 5. Sour/bad losers.......

  • Bang_La on July 4, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Oh god, now the lecture on democracy and how it works! Is it not for democracy that Howard supported taking million lives in Iraq?

  • Saieen on July 4, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    even if it wasn't so called a 'democratic' vote to kick kick Howard out, it still was the right decision by the countries who objected to his nomination. this writer is clinching to straws and may have eaten some grass before writing this piece of nonsense. what democracy you are talking about? did Australians took Australia away from the natives / aboriginals through democracy? i don't remember such vote ever happening? why did Howard met the Zimbabweans when he refused to do the same as PM? what have changed now that he so gladly went on to meet those same barbarians in Zimbabwe? the only reason i can see where for whining is that a white is reject by colored people. you can call yourself educated, civilized and what not but that rotten mentality of the white is still there.

  • bhanucbt on July 4, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    I wonder if the writer ever reads these comments. P.S: cricinfo please ask Mr. Haigh to read the comments on the articles he has written atleast the last five.

  • on July 4, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Lol, makes me wonder what the big deal is. Howard was not suitable according to plenty of people in ICC, so he got kicked out. Sure, it hurts for a few, but then, thats the way it is.

    I am sure the aussies and english did not feel the prick of their conscience when they used the veto is years past.

    Anyway, I suggest gideon has found the right way to deal with it. Have a good cry, you feel all the more lighter. Good luck.

    I also propose George Bush as the next ICC prez, might do wonders for cricket in the USA!

  • deepakjm on July 4, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Anyone who reads Howard's history would never agree that he should be involved in any manner to with ICC.

  • Itchy on July 4, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Interesting so many comments say "Howard lost the vote, that's how democracy works" when no vote was actually taken. It's a stupid process in the first place that is set up to give each board a go at having a president by virtue of "rubber-stamping" whoever has been put up (and all member nations voted and agreed on the process in the first place!).

    No fan of Howard (and never will be) but wonder why the process has not been adhered to this time when it has been every other time.

  • SAD47 on July 4, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Real funny to hear the whine from the Aussies and why they need to take it from the corrupt Indians. I guess the same way India stuck along when the English/Aussie did not allow India to even make a visit to their countries to play a test.(a far cry from the begging they will do now for an Indian tour;)..and when Indian umpires were paid less than the Brit/Aussie umpires for standing in the same match,and when they never allowed Indians into the MCC.And when they had a veto power and changed the rules as they wished. And all this till less than 20 years ago. Karma is an ancient Indian word. You guys kicked us around for 100 years..it has been only 10 years since we got the chance.You have seen nothing yet.

  • kdcricket on July 4, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    Sure , Mr. Haigh, I for one will surely agree with your point of view. True democracy is where you are not allowed to change the system because it has never been done before(i.e non unanimity with CA and NZC decision (making Howard VC) for sake of keeping status quo going), true democracy is where you elect a person even though you are not comfortable with his past record, true democracy is where you do not dare to call a non democratic practice as non democratic, true democracy is where you single out one party even when there are five others who have voted against you, true democracy is where you do not heed the warnings of constituents and go ahead with nominating whosoever you wish, and expect everyone to comply, true democracy is where you assume that your "rigorous process" of selection is beyond question and finally true democracy is where you do not dare defy Australia, coz you never know when they'll become crybabies if things do not go their way.

  • Cric_Luv on July 4, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    ohh god, this writer totally misses the point. Six countries are not against Australia/ New Zealand. There are just opposing a candidate who has a ridiculous history while dealing with cricket. Howard appointment would have totally divided ICC for that matter. There are many good candidates such as Taylor, Border, or Crowe who can be a great asset to ICC. If they say Pawar is not a good candidate, they could have opposed him during election itself. Please dont cry like babies on spilled milk.

  • IJustLoveCricket on July 4, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    I don't like politicians as cricket administrators. I just don't want them in cricket. They are corrupt and divisive. Sharad Pawar hasn't done anything of note as agricultural minister. I'm not sure if he's going to contribute anything substantial as president of ICC either, except for increasing his bank balance. And every one here in asia hate John Howard (I don't want to mention the reasons, coz they're known to everyone), and if I was in that voting room, I wouldn't have voted from him either. I'm not going to get him elected, just because, it's the turn of OZ/NZ to nominate their candidate, and we have to respect their choice of candidature, even though we hate him to the core. No please... no... not at all... I didn't vote for him and just like me 5 others didn't vote for him either. Candidature got rejected. Find a new candidate (Who's not a controversial figure)... Case closed.

  • on July 4, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Yes find the fault in democracy when it does not work for Australia or England. Many of these "objective" eyed journalist are merely incensed at the fact that once the Asian-African bloc demostrated their power within cricketing circles and is realy hard for them to digest it. Sorry Mr. Haigh if this brings back memories of Howards rejection as a politician, I'm sure you voted for him and felt democracy failed you then as well. Time to move on don't you think? The responsibility of a journalist is to report that fact and be objective about it. Atleast thatwhat the really good journalist do anyway. I'm sure it's news to you; and to a lot of your collegues at cricinfo.

  • Il_Duce on July 4, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Oh Gideon, enough with your nerd rage already! We all know of your boyhood crush on Howard and how his snubbing has had an adverse effect on your rationality(?) but do you really need to hammer the point home in each and every article of yours?

    And why this obsession with the BCCI/IPL/Indian politics? Is it the result of a traumatic experience(or perhaps more than one?) at the hands of people from the subcontinent in school/college? Had the BCCI/IPL been an actual person, you would have been at the end of a restraining order for stalking!

  • Pawarji on July 4, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    There is no point in logically ruling out there was no democracy- it is all known that this is a hand twisting by BCCI showing its power over its neighbours to prevent Howard. They showed their fantastic leadership in ICL and then IPL started stinking and now they are in ICC. I am pretty sure ICC will be corrupt just in a few months time and Indian dominance iwll be over after another big scandal! It is just the case of 'garland in monkey's hand'. With all the embarrassment Howard didn't burst like others. He still appreciated cricket lovers in the sub continent and instisted that need to be recognised. What India has done is only a case of revenge - those days England and Australia dominated and now India wants to show its power and dominance now. Exccellent - I am really concerned that the game of cricket has been ruined by India in all the forums - possibly they want to show their strength in this manner only as their players can't show it in winning the tournament anyway.

  • on July 4, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    It is difficult for the White Race to accept that their candidate has been rejected by the Non-White. This is the genuine pain to writers like Gideon. John Howard, not only does not posses credible Cricketing Credentials, he also, as a PM commented on Cricket affairs with prejudice and racism. His unequivocal endorsement of War against Iraq and torture of Guantanamo prisoners clearly indicates that he lacks integrity and fairness when it comes to dealing with non-Cricket affairs. Imagine a perceived racist heading a sporting organization. Why should I watch Cricket? If Mr. Howard had any sense of fairness and about the sentiments of Global Cricket, he should have withdrawn his nomination. By not doing so, it again shows his disregard for the non-White cricket countries.

  • on July 4, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    I am indeed surprised that a reputable website like Cricinfo keeps posting such one-sided & biased articles ! Either the site is running short of good authors or indirectly, they are probably as frustrated as the author himself about the fact that the Indian sub-continent rules cricket !!! Guys, accept the fact and move on in life - the future existence of cricket as a sport (and for that matter - Cricinfo as a website), depends on the sponsorships and the money which the sub-continent brings in and there is nothing much which can be done to change it. So if Mr.Haigh does not like it so much, who the hell cares about it ?? Whats happening now is in no way different than the not so very recent past, when the Aussies and English ruled world cricket like dictators, yes indeed it sucks now that they cannot continue to do it anymore hahahaha. Thats the way haha we like it haha, rub it in, rub it in !!!

  • nymt2 on July 4, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Howard a racist or not all of India knows who Sharad Pawar is, he being the president of ICC is the biggest joke, also cricketers cry about cricketers not controlling the game, well those same cricketers first should start administrating the game, they won't because of money factors Sharad Pawar is Central Agricultural Minister, ICC, BCCI, MCA, MOA president, how many jobs a person can do simultaneously, shouldn't there be a limit to it BCCI is trying everything to settle scores with England when they rule the cricket, so the question is not on Howard alone but on whole of ICC and BCCI as BCCI controls ICC, Gavaskars and Shastris are busy administrating IPLs, but no ace cricketer has interest in ICC except for the few, and when some one does go through, 15 degrees of elbow bending rule blunder happens,

    ICC and Cricket are clearly going down and if something is not done quickly enough, Cricket will suffer badly

  • rollyko on July 4, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    This is a very ugly face of Indian cricket we are seeing now. Clearly what is best for cricket no longer matters, only what is best for India is important. Why doesn't India just nominate every ICC President? At least there would then be transparency.

  • raghavmadan on July 4, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    @The_Wog The opposing boards did not give their reasons for voting against Howard because they are NOT required to by the Constitution of ICC. Anyways, I have already explained those reasons to you.

  • VipulPatki on July 4, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    I think if this were the first article written by Haigh about this fiasco, it would have been acceptable. But if you see his feeds, more than 70% of his recent articles have been about mismanagement on the part of BCCI. Not that he is wrong. BCCI remains highly corrupt. Sharad Pawar is no saint either (huge euphemism really). The main objection stems from his clear dislike of anything Indian, which results in an inherent bias and a natural acerbity in his articles. Supposing for an instant, that ICC were to come up with a flimsy explanation of the result, would he keep quiet? No. Expect him to dash off another pH 1 write-up that will almost surely find a place for IPL and BCCI mess, whether or not the mention was germane. In fact, we all would do well to ask Irani or Iraqi people their opinion of UN after US unilaterally decided to go ahead with the strikes. This recent fiasco would then certainly look like a storm in a tea-cup.

  • Ozwizard on July 4, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Mate, Eat up some concrete and harden up. We never quarreled about all those backstabbing of our own KRudd. Why making issues about this bloody clown Howard. It's really confusing to me as you go on and talk about the hierarchy or administration of cricket in India rather than Australia itself. I still play for a club and the process electing the cricket board is as funny as any other third world system. You just stopped there saying its a 105 years something.

    Go home and sleep well Gideon. Never tell again to rugby league fans that Melbourne storms are just a local footy club. They are just only one rugby league franchise in whole bloody Victoria mate and they breached the salary cap by 1.3 millions to keep the marquee players!

  • on July 4, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    This article speaks so much truth; it also continues to remind me how cricket is going downhill fast. Umpires are sacked for pointing out when the Pakistanis are cheating, laws are changed to allow for illegitimate bowling actions, twenty20 is born to feed a demand for instant gratification, The BCCI (ICC) has rule over international cricket, the list goes on and it makes me sad.

  • on July 4, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Had BCCI supported Howard, then would you complain about the "so-called" democracy? I don't think so - because you could have done it a lot before this election. It was not as though there was a coup in ICC yesterday that brought this new organization. So, I call this a fig leaf of journalistic standards of a journalist who is crying foul just because a fellow Australian lost nomination. Instead of harping why not Australians focus on nominating a less divisive guy?

  • Reggaecricket on July 4, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Someone raised a valid question. Does AUS/NZ mean Australia alone? Australia had Speed just the other day, but they had to use strong arm tactics to block NZ's John Anderson. Gideon, that TV jock in India took the mickey out of you when he called Howard the former PM of Australia and New Zealand! He said it tongue in cheek and it's funny that a mere cricinfo reader has to point that out to you!

  • pom_basher on July 4, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    Let me comment before cricinfo closes the comments on this article as well. Is JH suggesting that India forced other 6 countries to vote against him? Does JH say that Australia did not force their selection on NZ? Its height of hypocracy!!! Gideon, what planet are you from?

  • on July 4, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    Dude, Chill out. I think everyone of you writers should go back to school and read history. We humans do no learn from history and it always repeats itself! 20 years ago it was England and Australia bloc, today it is Asian Bloc. Tomorrow it could be someone else. It is just a nature of the business!

  • boris2008 on July 4, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, why are you so desperately keen to see the appointment of someone who illegally led Australia into the war in Iraq? John Howard paid scant regard to purported democratic principles when he made that decision; he knows better than most that modern deomocracy is an artiface in almost any context.

  • gettussaa on July 4, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Get a life, Gideon! Just read it again, it totally reeks of chauvinism. An intellectual takes a neutral point of view and analyzes a situation purely on basis of logic and common sense. His articles on this issue have been bereft of both these virtues. I would say he has just become another "pop-corn" journalist who is satiating the needs of temporarily angered Australians. Must say you are very good at it , Gideon!

    That aside, Australians have made a name for themselves on and off the field - "you give them an inch and they will take a foot". So why do you suppose that any rational person will give them even an inch, if he can help it? On other note, Mr John Howard has recently commented that no one country should have large influence in ICC. Well, eleven years at helm of Australia, he never made such comments with regards to the UN for the USA. Hypocrisy, eh? The bottom line is - John Howard has been shown the door and rightly so.

  • Gaurav569 on July 4, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    The point is as long as the English and Australians rule the sport, its cool. Everyone should bow.

    But the problem starts when India does exactly the same to them. Then India Should be fair and responsible or is an untamed monster. Haha.

    It aint happening guys. Sharad Pawar is one of India's biggest crooks. He can fix 20 like Howard in his sleep. And he will. Your times up with him around.

    In a strange way, I am so proud of him. Go India. And screw you, whatever or whoever you are.

  • on July 4, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    Gideon you are really obsessed with this, mate. I am really beginning to wonder what is in it for you, apart from being a journalist. Let go! The 6 members thought of Howard as racist and voted against him. I think there are other more pressing issues to grill the ICC about rather than this bitter Howard pill that you have refused to swallow for over two weeks now.

  • daneale on July 4, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    Good day/night sir,may i ask who is John Howard or any other that they can be rejected,i think u all are making a mountain out of a mole hill really,he was rejected simple as that and it should be respected.No one person has the right to be accepted .let there be love and respect.

  • DrunkOtter on July 4, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    I do find superb irony on the number of responses that say (to paraphrase) "Howard should not be elected because he's a racist - just like every other white man."

    Mmmm - there's a whole lot of the pot calling the kettle white going on at the moment.

  • Umair_umair on July 4, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Gideon Haigh , to your last article you got over 100 comments and the comments were closed by circinfo. It seems this time you are goign to get 200 perhaps. But still you are not going to admit.

    Go on keep writing. No credibility.

  • catalyst213 on July 4, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Hey, where's your article on Germany for slaughtering Aus 4-0, im sure you will find something, here are some ideas although i know you would easily beat me, anyways.....here we go. The Germans were unreasonbly faster. They were taller and stronger due to some mysteries.Germans were unfair in the game and played with untrue spirits. They were too graceful after victory. South Africa did voodoo on socceroos. Aussie players were old and wise. Germans called Aussies convicts. The red card on Timmy was unfair, Aussie coach had connections withZimbwabe etc etc.

  • jonno67 on July 4, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Good article, well written, pity not many of the readers here understood it.

  • The_Wog on July 4, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    I have considered the "Mugabe" scenario - under what circumstances would it be acceptable to vote against a regional nomination. I think the test is "Are we prepared to vote 'no' AND proudly state our reasons?" Presumably Mugabe (as patron of the ZCU) has some theoretical experience in cricket administration. Presumably we would vote no, and be quite clear about our reasons why - the same reasons Howard cited for ZIM's expulsion from the Commonwealth.

    I would have no complaint if RSA, PAK, BAN, RSA, IND and WI stated SPECIFIC reasons WHY they object to Howard on either personal or competency grounds. (And ZIM for their abstention and backstabbing role.) If they are acting honourably, what do they have to hide? At a minimum, stating specific objections will set the bar for future candidates to be judged against. Is that too much to ask of these countries?

  • kamalbh71 on July 4, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    When it is Afrrica's turn, I nominate Robert Mugabe as the ICC Vice president. Let's see what the reaction is.

  • SnowSnake on July 4, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    What Gid. is suggesting is communism and not democracy. At first the rules appear to make sense, but if you really think about it, it gives a lot of power to the person who is enforcing them. It is communism. Gid. is assuming that people voted irresponsible. Sorry, God. it is your opinion. What ever I now know about Howard, I think it was the right decision. Howard is trying to undermine ICC just because he was not selected. I am glad that 6 nations did not vote for him.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on July 4, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Laying aside Mr. Haigh's understandable journalistic desire for the flavourful turn-of-phrase, it is important to see what he is about. He places a pox on all the government houses of cricket. (I do not recall any mention of England or West Indies, but I am confident that it was merely an oversight on Mr. Haigh's part.) The overriding issue here is governance in the cricket: both its effectiveness and its legitimacy are in the dock. This did not come about because Mr. Haigh wrote an article, and it will not be resolved by dismissing him as a crank or worse. When an administrative crisis reaches the stage where the cricket is now, there are three likely future paths: serious decline, revolution, or (most desirably) creative reconstruction. What Mr. Haigh and the commentary responding to him proves is that there is a great need for an all-encompassing Cricket Convention to provide for the creative option. The alternatives are the T20/IPL revolution run rampant, or simple decline.

  • Subra on July 4, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    How come no one complained when England and Australia had the veto, and used it for their benefit? Now Mr Haigh is complaining about the legitimacy of the ICC Board - as not being appointed. On the rotation policy should it not have been New Zealand's turn this time, since Australia already had theirs - or does Australia/New Zealand mean Australia all the time? Come on, no one would have said a word if Richie Benaud, Mark Taylor, Alan Border, Sir Richard Hadlee or Steve Waugh had been nominated. The objection to Howards stems from his political baggage, when he was so pro white. To call Murali a chucker, even after the ICC had cleared him is another factor that must have gone against him. He refused to accept the ICC verdict then - what would he do, if he became President - these must have been some of the fears. By the way, would Howard be satisfied if a vote is taken.Did the Australian public give a reason for dumping him. Why must ICC do so? Please accept the majority rulin

  • on July 4, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Why pick on India and Pakistan indeed. And what credentials does Mr. Howard pose? Openly calling the highest wicket taker in test cricket a chucker, over-vehemently calling for boycott of one of the youngest test nations? How would those nations feel at his candidature? Are we to assume that Australia with their proud cricketing heritage failed to come up with a non controversial candidate? I am sorry, but this article is very biased.

  • amp64 on July 4, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    It's quite simple. (1) Howard was opposed because he is perceived (with some reason) to be racist. (2) As in the UN, each country (as represented by their representative, howsoever appointed) has one vote. Seems wholly justified to me. Tough luck. Nominate someone better.

  • ram5160 on July 4, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    Howard s politics as PM : 1. Encouraged the ONE Australia policy.It called for an end to multiculturalism and opposed a treaty with Aboriginal Australians. 2. Selective quotas on immigration from Asian countries. 3. Condemned Labour MP Pauline Henson s racist remarks a mere 7 months after they were said. 4. Supported Bush in the Iraq war. Sent over 2000 Aus soldiers. 5. Tampa affair-refused permission for the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa, carrying 438 rescued Afghans from a distressed fishing vessel in international waters, to enter Australian waters 6. Was the only living former PM refusing to attend the apology made by Rudd to aboriginals with bipartisan support. This is the man ur supporting Mr. Haigh.

  • slogger-sachin on July 4, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    yawnnnnnn...man you are complaining like there is no tomorrow...get over it...INDIA is the super power of cricket and it will remain so...pay back time for that aussie-english regime...hahahahaha

  • pointcatch on July 4, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    A very interesting article and I agree with most points you make. Very amusing that your prediction about the comments flaring up with fury is so correct, you were too polite to mention that it also flares up with ignorance and stupidity. Although a few like AnirbanC have made good points and are a welcome relief from the bile and miscomprehension.

  • ZEUS00 on July 4, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    Reading this comments section one would think that India and Australia were already at war! Let's chill out folks, shall we! Someone like Richard Hadlee or David Gower (yes I know he's English!) would provide the much needed air of calmness and mutual trust the cricketing world so desperately needs. Sharad Pawar looks like a sinister politician... indeed of the same category as John Howard! We need them both to disappear, so a fresh, harmonious start, is made possible.

  • vikramtheindian on July 4, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Was it correct in a democracy to IMPOSE an outsider (because of his political experience and to provide a good retirement benefit) over various able administrators and ex-cricketers to be a candidate from Australia for ICC President. Then they arm twisted NZ (like forever) to forget his turn for the same post with pure democratic means? And lastly they expect every other nation will accept this very DEMOCRATICALLY? Don't throw stones on others' house when yourself live in a glass house...........

  • CDNkar on July 4, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    From the time this controversy has erupted, it is painful to see the articles by Gideon and Co. and statements from Speed etc. These self righteous preservers of morality need a lesson in humility but what the heck.. There is no need to even respond to such garbage these guys are writing. Things may be wrong in India, Sharad Pawar and Modi being on the top, but we do have a democratic process for selecting such people. Democracy means giving freedom to all and sundry, even if they are Pawar or Modi. India can do better with its clout but what gets thrown comes around. Sane minds might prevail but will take time. Till then, move over Mr. Howard, get comebody in his place. The writing is clear on the wall!! Less spoken on his statements on Dmocracy in India, with all the ills, we do not have a Julia Gilliard ousting a PM as they fear they would lose at the hustings. If this was not back room back stabbing what else can be a better example? Wake up before you point fingers at others!

  • dyogesh on July 4, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    " But why pick on India and Pakistan, apart from the fun of seeing the comments section phosphoresce with fury? " Presto, thats the easiest way to become a journalist in Australia post SCG ? No need to suck up to right people, no 20 years wait etc. And as someone said, democracy is nothing but replacing a single dictator with 500 dictators. Show me one good example of operation of democracy. Indeed, if the purpose of Gideon is to have some saddistic fun by provoking sub-continental fans, then it is very deplorable of a journalist to do that.

  • sachin1bradman2 on July 4, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    From one extreme to another! Gideon's perspective is essentially Australian, not even remotely International. Having said that, most of the respondents in the comments section, are taking a very subcontinental stance, with scant regard for any other standpoint. Emotional outbursts will only destroy objectivity and get us nowhere.The truth must lie somewhere in the middle, and that's what world cricket is lacking, a sense of balance and stability. To suggest that Howard would've asked tough questions of the ICC is so laughable that it's probably not even worthy of a response! Howard is a politician to the core, each word and action (including the recent trip to Zimbabwe), is all about acquiring and maximising personal power. Sharad Pawar doesn't look the part either, he is just as corrupt and power-hungry.Get a Kiwi to captain the ship, everybody loves them for their humility and compassion. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to reach a happy compromise in this situation.

  • dyogesh on July 4, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    Its a real shame. I have bought Haigh's books and in fact his article on SCG 2008 was one of few the neutral, non-jingoistic ones from both the sides put together. It is sad to see such a writer stooping down to this level. Looks like he hasn't bothered to change his article from the australian magazine he has written for. Post Sydney 2008, the easiest job should be to write an article for an indian or australian magazine. You just have to criticize the other and it doesn't matter what else you write. There will be enough to nod yesses.

    And a writer such as he trying to write on cricket politics rather than the game is a loss for the game and himself too. I log onto cricinfo to read about the game and its players, not eternally about its cunning administrators. I guess, Gideon would have as well written against ICC even if Howard was selected. Its the next easiest thing to write for there is always some messy affair and its easier to write on mess than the proper.

  • kkk47 on July 4, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    When I think of Mr. Howard (former PM of Australia), the only thing which comes to my mind is that he called Muralidaran 'a chucker'. That is enough for not having him as the deputy to Mr. Pawar. It shows that he does not think before he talks. ICC needs a diplomatic, a man who thinks before he blurts out things. He might be a changed man now, he might be the best man for the job, he might be the best administrator available, he might have all the qualities to fill that post, but he has created a REPUTATION for himself. Howard himself has created this kind of REPUTATION. In the history of ICC, this situation has occured for the first time. None of the previous Presidents faced this problem...WHY?

  • ut4me87 on July 4, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Dear Lord, blame India for everything. Becoming a huge cricketing super power, creating IPL, producing cricketers like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble. Even winning test matches. Poor India can not do anything right in front of the white man. The world has changed, but the cricket writers don't understand that. The fact is that BCCI is actually composed of businessmen and politicians - who are also cricket lovers must be understood by the cricket writers. Mr. Power's father-in-law played in test matches. How many ICC presidents can claim that sort of family connection?

  • RyanSmith on July 4, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Gideon - I think it is clear that the majority of people don't want John Howard as VP of ICC! You can write as many articles as you want outlining why what has happened is a joke, just don't make the mistake of thinking that producing a sound, logical argument will change people's minds, it almost certainly won't. I think what has happened shows that he would have had a very difficult time achieving any real change anyway even if he had been accepted in the position. John Howard is disliked because he stands behind what he believes and MAKES DECISIONS and TAKES ACTION to bring about change. When you DO something you will be unpopular with at least some people. The ICC has generally tried to be polite, to be popular and not be divisive and so it has never really done anything. That they have taken a stand and knocked back Howard is new for them, so perhaps this is not a new low. Maybe they are now ready to DO something! Lets hope if they are, it is for the good of the game!

  • Zahidsaltin on July 4, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    While looking at Sharad Pawars picture I see face of cricket as it's today. I think all 10 cricket administrations are playing dirty games here, all of them with no exeptions at all. Indians are controlling and dictating it with the might of money and Australia, England and SA are the ones who, for the sake of dollar,s have made it possible for India to doing it. When it comes to money, these three have gone for indian money by sidelining smaller nations and now when India bites them then they start crying for foul. For me Howard was a hope, who could possibly have taken the powers from India and given back to the central body but Australia failed in doing their homework through the foriegn offfice. India on the otherhand, by getting a sitting minister to the post of ICC chairman, to run both the jobs at the same time, and then rejecting Howard, has slapped on Australias face.

  • PK_Durham on July 4, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    The ICC is a machiavellian organisation - as is Cricket Australia and all of the national boards. In this instance CA have been outmanoeuvred, next time it may well be them doing the outmanoeuvring. Such is the life of the cricket committeeman. As Gideon says in the article, these people have spent 20 years on various committees to get where they are - they know the rules of the game (Rule 1 - there are no rules)

    I wouldn't interpret the indignation coming from Australia to be anything more than them positioning themselves for the next battle - if they can be seen as the victim this time, then it may offer tactical advantage next time.

  • on July 4, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    gideon, gideon, gideon, you are still at it!! would you have wiitten this article if the same malficients had infact elected Howard? They would have been less undemocratic, less demonic and certainly not thieves and pillagers. Which part of Howard was the wrong nomination from CA and CNZ don't you get? If you defend their absolute right to nominate anyone they want, would you be outraged if Mugabe or Lalit Modi was nominated by other regions? Yes? then, take your bat and ball and go home (take little JOHNNY WITH YOU). No? You are mad, you can't appoint despots and bigots to such key diplomatic positions. Get it?

  • aliyusuf on July 4, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    Tell me Mr. Gideon Haigh, can't member countries disagree to the suitability of a candidate without making their reasons public lest the candidate be further humiliated? I think ICC has been very considerate of Mr. Howard by not divulging the actual reasons.

    Howard's long stint as PM of Australia and his injudicious comments over the years on cricket matters on the international arena was his own downfall.

    As a PM of a country it was beneath him to get involved in the affairs of international cricket the way he did. The ICC VP needs to be a more balanced and sensible person. Just because he suited the people of Australia to be their PM, does not make him an automatic choice for an ICC post.

  • raghavmadan on July 4, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Hahahaha

    Oh Haigh, Haigh, Haigh, Haigh, Haigh. You are a good and respected cricket writer. Why don't you stick to that? Your recent articles just show your prejudices and insecurities. Pity.

  • Reggaecricket on July 4, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Gideon, you are taking this personally! It's time to stop throwing toys out of your cot. Assuming that Howard got in unopposed, can you honestly say that Howard and Aus/NZ/UK would have gladly accepted Peter Chingoka as VP when Africa's turn came around? Analyzing how a board's head is appointed is not what defines if a vote taken among the representatives of the respective boards is valid or not. The absurdity of your argument suggests that even the appointments of those board heads must have the blessings of all the member boards of the ICC. If we are to determine the validity of Zimbabwe or Pakistani elections, then we must examine how democratic it was of England/Aus/NZ to support the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as well. You see, Gideon, mixing politics and Cricket is not a good thing. The ICC is the guardian of Cricket. Let it remain that way, keep politics and politicians OUT of it. Yes, Pawar should not be there either.

  • M_H_K on July 4, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    Now Haigh is making mockery of other boards. That's interesting. Get over it , Mr. Haigh. Ask CA to put a suitable candidate. Howard was beaten by a fair process of voting. Try to accept this reality. The old good days of 19th and 20th centuries will never come again. At the end, you should not worry about the administration of other cricket boards, you along with Speed better concentrate only on CA.

  • Gupta.Ankur on July 4, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    i completely agree with @thenkabail here.....

    Geidon Haigh like Malcolm speed suffer from "white-man superiority".............they cannot believe that Asian countries have become so powerful to turn the tables on them....

  • dpkhbk on July 4, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    a former nobel prize winner had said that howard should be treated as war criminal for having killed thousands of people and must be put through war tribunal .i would rather have the icc be known as corrupt than being headed by such people.australia seems to be not knowing that outside their country mr.howard has no respect at all.

  • avatar2012 on July 4, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    it seems like mr. haigh is questioning the democratic process in india by saying how mr pawar or any one can get into office or become " else for instance, is to become the chief minister of a state" mr haigh seems to have lived in india for all his life for him to have such strong view obout indian political system and he even goes on say this "All you have to do is join a political party, suck up to the right people and knife the rest for 20 years or so - presto, you're a cricket administrator" it clearly shows how disrespectfull is this " english born aussie" towards indian and its democratically elected politicians. i am wondering about how much mr haigh is qualified to talk about this subject ? does he hold a phd in political science ? i really beleive this un educated self proclaiming author should be taken off from cricinfo and held resposible for his irresponsible commentry on indian political process.

  • oassie on July 4, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Gideon, you seem to be simply unable to accept a majority decision- typical aussie whinging when things don't happen the way they want. John Howard was an arrogant uninformed loose lip when he was prime minister where Murali was concerned. SL objected to his remarks at that time but diplomatically avoided bringing it up again. You want the real reasons, read between the lines. 6 other countries had reservations over his selection and CA chose to press ahead thinking they can bully other countries in to submission and failed. In reality, only England supported their bid as NZ too were forced to agree. Malcolm Speed talks about CA taking the bat and ball and going home because they did not get their way. Talk about being childish! So grow up and accept the verdict of a majority of the nations. Howard is too divisive and never should have been put forward as a candidate. Period!

  • AnirbanC on July 4, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    Gideon has aired his view strongly and I respect them. I disagree with him on many counts, but one thing I stand by him is that cricket hasn't been actually the winner in all this (especially in this Football season). Just because England and Australia did blatant wrongs when they had the power doesn't man India necessarily would have to do the same, two wrongs don't make a right. India, with it's position of immense cricket commerce could have been more subtle in dealing with this - a little dose of wit and wisdom would have gone a long way in preventing this from becoming such a big issue ; but I guess that's a little too much to expect from BCCI - the least said about PCB and SLCB the better- high time genuine cricket lovers come into administration.

  • Governor on July 4, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Is the ICC a democratic organisation that protects and serves the interests of all cricketing nations?

    Or, is the ICC a governing body that represents India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Do these countries have the hiiden intention to control world cricket by killing test cricket and heavily promoting 20-20, 50 over and 40 over cricket through the huge amount of money being spent on TV rights?

    World cricket is in a sad state. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are using the ICC to control world cricket after England and Australia controlled world cricket for over 100 years!!

    The ICC needs a president who is well respected by all cricketing nations, and the best candidates are Imran Khan and Sir Richard Hadlee.

    THE GOVERNOR

  • KingofRedLions on July 4, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    "But why pick on India and Pakistan, apart from the fun of seeing the comments section phosphoresce with fury?"

    That's the only reason to do it!

    The thing is, once you've attacked (or even not attacked, in some cases) these two countries, there's no point writing anything else - the entire comments section will purely be addressing straw men arguments that tried to attack India and Pakistan.

  • on July 4, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Gid - "People in a room having a vote is not democracy. It depends on who they are, how they got there, and how faithfully they follow the rules of their organisation" - Democracy is also about nominating a universally acceptable candidate and on that count CA must have been either too naive or stupid not to see this coming - how would they react if the African bloc nominated Mugabe when it is their turn? Will CA lump it and turn up?

    Anyway for you and Malcolm Cann etc. it is a godsend opportunity to go after India once again - ignoring there were 5 others who opposed.

  • bustermove on July 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    It's amazing how quickly some people will pull out the "Racist" tag when anyone from Australia or England questions the actions of the BCCI. It's so easy to do. Perhaps those who do it think that it strengthens their arguments. In actual fact it's just a blunt instrument when rational discussion has failed them. It diminishes them and the cause they support. I am so tired of it. So John Howard is a "racist" because he spoke against the Mugabe regime, something which half the planet has done, and because he once called Murali a chucker, something which I personally vehemently disagree with, but which at the time was a widely-held view. Does anyone call Bishen Bedi a "racist" when he still questions Murali's action. Apparently Gideon is also a "racist" because he dares to question the actions of a governing body that draws up a set of rules, tells all it's members what the rules are, and then abandons those rules wthout explanation. Peter Chingoka and his mates in ZANU PF must be smiling

  • prashnottz on July 4, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    An article a day, keeps the respect away.

  • maddy20 on July 4, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    And I thought Australia is a democracy where people's vote respected! Get over it already! WHat do you propose Gideon? Force every one to respect your will? Get a life pal! We are all sick of your India bashing antics! No wonder cricinfo is looking for writers from the general public!

  • theswami on July 4, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    An aussie (Haigh) trying to protect another Aussie .... lemme ask one thing, why d'ya havta poke your nose in the other countries' business .. how they elect/select their cricket boards ...... the subject is the International Council & its got a few R&Rs .... if the guy is unpopular he's rejected, they say get a guy whom everyone likes & matter is solved. Just because the guy rejected is a high profile chap whose a bad loser... you can't cry foul ...... How'd you know for sure that they voted as a gang .. they could have thought over individually & pondered over the guy's background which was so biased against them ... now tell me, will you have voted for a bully in a school election ...???

  • on July 4, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    Good on CA and NZC for "shining a light into the darker recesses" of the ICC. Reform or perish.

  • Teece on July 4, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Always enriching to trawl the Cricinfo comments and learn something new about my country. A genuine question. Is there scepticism in India? Like, you've had some pretty corrupt leaders over the years and you deserved better. So why are you seemingly unable to support your team without cheering everything your administrators do? If it were me hearing over and over how rich my country had become, I'd ask for some decent stadiums for a start. The relationship between Indian fans and administrators seems rather uneven, so they must be grateful for your unflinching loyalty. And have you taken in anything Haigh has written? He doesn't even like Howard. He's done everything possible to explain his unease is because the agreement to rotate the leadership has been torn up to protect the rotten status quo.

  • brownfeatures on July 4, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    There was NO VOTE people!! Nomination THEN vote, do you understand? A nomination that the ICC were obliged to accept as per their own constitution. It never even got to a vote. This is what Mr Haigh has an understandable problem with. He doesn't "want" Howard per se, he wants the ICC to abide by it's own set of rules! Amid all the self-generated hysteria about imagined "racism"( keep harping on about it like brow-beaten, subjugated little children and the world will probably keep treating you as such...or grow up with the rest of us, your choice i guess) the point is being missed. Gideon Haigh is a great deal more intelligent, articulate and vested with the required facts than pretty much anyone writing these comments(including myself). He's also white, not that it matters to anyone white or otherwise with any sense, but go right ahead my Asian brothers and make a judgement based on it anyway. Long Live Cricket!

  • hattima on July 4, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    I do find it amusing that Mr. Haigh thinks nobody in the CA is fit to run the ICC, but Mr. Howard is! So BCCI is not professional, so PCB is a joke. So most of the boards are run by incompetent bunch of fools, and Mr. Howard is the knight in shining armour waiting to rescue ICC from the tomfoolery of these bunch of jokers who have changed cricketc from its collonial past where two nations enjoyed vetoing rights on every decision to be made to one of the most profit-making sports to ... what? I don't know.

    Also, he made a comment about how to become the president of BCCI. Become a chief minister of a state, he says. Someone who is repeatedly ordering people to get their facts right should have been a bit more cautious, because in the last 15-20 years Mr. Pawar is the only successful politician in BCCI, and he has never been a chief minister! And even if he, or someone else, was, it is hypocricy at the highest to advocate ex-prime ministers and the joke about ex-chief ministers!

  • ian_ghose on July 4, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    I was just going through the 'Corruption Perception Index' on wikipedia where 1 is position for least corrupt - India ranks 84th, Sri Lanka 97th, Pakistan and Bangladesh at joint 139th, and Zimbabwe..at a happy 146...oh by the way New Zealand is ranked no.1 and Australia no. 8 along with the UK being a fair no. 17.

    It's a shame that some of the most fair and transparent systems (NZ and Aus) are having to put the with the notion of the 'democracy' of the Banana republics (Zimbabwe, Pakistan...you name it)...

    All the Indians beating their chests on this forum should ask themselves, what has Sharad Pawar done as Agricultural Minister? where every year hundreds of farmers commit suicides and millions die of undernourishment and starvation...

  • on July 4, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    hahahahah..what a loser.... Mr Gideon Haigh ...accept it..howard is a loser, i agree with many people is is close to racist.. well done asia//we will never support howard...what goes around comes around.

  • on July 4, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    Am I wrong or is Gideon still trying to convince everyone that the ICC is made up of politicians? What is cricket all about? England v Australia? India v Pakistan? Pakistan v Bangladesh? England v West Indies? If Britain had not colonised a goodly part of the world, would anyone be playing cricket except the Poms? Cricket is nothing without the politics.

    Do you really think Gideon that a man who has made a lifetime profession of getting brown and black people offside should be entrusted with the task of governing them? How could he deal fairly with the likes of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe when he shown his bias against them?

    Were you shouting out loud back when Australia and England ran world cricket in a discriminatory way, Gideon? Or is it the fact that India now dominates the scene that disturbs you?

    Get a grip - this is not a rejection of Australia. It is rejection of a mealy-mouthed politician who was knocked back by his own electorate not so long ago and thrown out of government

  • Rahul_78 on July 4, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    ICC, BCCI, CA, NZC all are in same boat. Its all dirty. To expect adolf hitler to campaign for democracy is foolish. To expect these organizations to work transperently and with the best cause at the heart is childish. We can shout from the rooftops like gideon is doing and I am sure no one will bother to listen from these camps. This is not about sport, it is about power and egos. English and aussies have been doing it for years and now the ball has shifted to other side of the court. Players come and go..but game remains the same. These guys go to their AC offices and laugh their pants off. And lines gets drawn between the cricket lovers, between countries and continent. Pre IPL3 indo pak boards were at each others throat and now it is a great battle of white vs brown where indo pak boards are fighting like borthers against a bigger evil. Heck even fans r united..let some sanity prevail. Gideon, fight for a purpose not for a person and certainly not for someone like john howard.

  • hattima on July 4, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Being criminal of one of stupid commenters from the subcontinent, may I have the audacity of just asking Mr. Haigh a few simple questions: 1. Why exactly does he think most of the nations in ICC rejected Howard? He is complaining a lot that the reasons given are eyewash, so what is his take on the real reason? Can he shed some light one that? Since he has already written so much, would hurt to write another article about that! 2. What does he exactly think about the reasons they rejected him? Deos he find those wrong? Does he find those illogical? 3. Does he think these nations would have opposed Sir Anderson? I'd prefer an honest, direct answer. And please give reason why he thinks so.

  • bonaku on July 4, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    You can say ever u want. But majority of ppl in india, srilanka, zim, pak, SA dont want him. So i think it is better democracy then you think. It is just waste of time to read ur artical again in future (it is nothing but partial). Why do u think we should like a man who is racist and even ppl in australia declined to elect him(last time when he failed his elections). If you are so fond of him, elect him as you PM. Maybe he is appropriate candidate, given that aus has good racial abuse history in the recent past atleast.

  • on July 4, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Rejecting Howard is end of World.? why so many cries.. where have u been when australians teased indians recently in sydney with racist comments.?..In any soprts Racism can't be tolerated .. Howard has great track record for that. understand all boadrs are rejecting howard .. not australian leaders.. dont' u have any one else other than howard..? You are a cry baby..crying for long... let it out. Justice is already made. please look into other issues. where u guys were when aussies and england take decisions on thier own in ICC. Tell me , in the history of cricket, anyone australian player got banned.?.. in fact australians are the worst behaved team in the field.. see .. where is the balance.. why u poor ppl are crying..first compete with india in economy then everything fell in place

  • VipulPatki on July 4, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Get over it Gideon. I think you have lost it. It's almost like "My Mother, drunk or sober". This has to be one of the most disgustingly chauvinistic and deplorable articles ever published on cricinfo and I earnestly request the website to moderate the articles as strictly as it moderates the reader's comments. By the way, Gideon wouldn't have too much trouble in becoming CM of an Indian state. He seems to have mastered the art of brown-nosing already. The only thing he doesn't realise is that he's trying to cosy up the wrong persons. The worst thing about the article though, is that the article doesn't even offer an aesthetic pleasure of reading a well-structured argument. This article is a rant, and a revolting, cacophonous one.

  • SajinVarghese on July 4, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    I comment this article as 'colored one' , Mr.John Howard loves cricket,is it interesting,everybody loves cricket,he doesn't know how to hold a bat,what does he knows about Cricket,'he simply loves',a fame hungry politician turned cricket lover,doesn't suit this job,Sir James Anderson,is a widely regarded cricket administrator,and i am sure,there will be no objections for him for the post of ICC Vice President,Mr.Giddeon,Do you understand, what you have written,nevertheless,Cricinfo,please go through his comments,should be censored despite telling some facts & truths which are irrelevant at present,

  • balajik1968 on July 4, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Gideon Haigh's gone ballistic ever since Howard was rejected. He talks about the rejection lacking transparency, but omits to mention about the lack of transparency in Aus-NZ selecting Howard. If I remember right an Aussie(Malcolm Gray) was ICC Chairman not long ago, so Australia could easily have conceded to New Zealand. Instead the Aussies chose to arm-twist the Kiwis into accepting Howard. In turn the other countries got together and threw Howard out. Howard ruffled too many feathers in the past, so it was obvious a lot of people were uncomfortable with him. Finally, why does he keep bashing India? If we read the events right, Howard's goose was cooked even before India chose to go against him. India did'nt lead the anti-Howard campaign.

  • keyser_sozey on July 4, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    I am disappointed at the lack of empathy shown by most of the posters here. If there has been a tradition for countries to accept others' candidates as an act of good faith, then how would you feel if yours was rebuffed? I thought society was evolving and improving but many of the posters here resort to cheap shots. It is true that CA may have to move on and choose another candidate, but it is entirely proper for our cricket press to highlight the hypocrisy and lack of honesty in our Governing body. Do you love cricket? Then stand up for proper process and high quality candidates being elected to the ICC. Let's remove corruption, grow the game and enjoy it.

  • AlexDackard on July 4, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    What is the use of voting system if there is no use for it? From the context of gesticulations and apparent horror demonstrated by Australians and Kiwis apparently it seems their version of democratic rotational system is that the candidate proposed must be selected irrespective of the appetite of other members for the particular candidate. And why single BCCI out, unless the argument stands that BCCI as a proxy is running all the other seven boards as well. A tenuous argument at best. Sure everyone would like to be in bed with BCCI, including Aussies and the Kiwis because of their financial clout but that is far cry from saying that they actual control other boards. This present uproar is nothing more than brouhaha over penis sizing in locker's shower room. Surely, their can be some perspective in this incident because ironically the Aussies and Kiwis are acting the same way for which they have in turn being blaming the BCCI. Talk about moronic!

  • Ash20 on July 4, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    Gideon, you are behaving like a cry baby. Just read your this article afer a month you yourself will be ashamed what you have written. It is badly written very long article without any purpose. What happen to Cricinfo that they allow such useless article.

  • PeteB on July 4, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    It's fascinating how folks read their own agendas into what Gideon Haigh is writing. The point he is making is basically that the governance of ICC is a shambles. And that is a pox on all member boards. As a journalist Gideon has written on such issues in the business world as well as in cricket. So, we still have no explanations as to why the representives voted the way they did. Hence it gives license for people to give their various their various theories and prejudices free reign. "Never stand between a politician and a cynical, populist gesture - you will be trampled in the rush". Indeed.

  • Ullas_79 on July 4, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Now, Isnt this getting ridiculous Mr Heigh, your article doesnt seem to have anything but hatred and some hidden and unhidden criticism over Asian (especially Indian) people, businessmen, politicians and BCCI? I would think Cricinfo would publish an article if it has something new to speak off but if its the same thing said again and again under different headings from the same author, it doesnt even look good for Cricinfo...More than Howards rejection, I think the articles coming out of Cricinfo and mainly articles just like this are proving more to be divisive than ever and is trying to pit the traditional Eng-Aus team against the others. You can talk of all you want about Indian telly TV people not knowing anything about Aussie but the same seems to apply to you too with respect to Indian politics. Firstly, it isnt really that easy in India to become a CM and if you were, I dont think they think about joining BCCI when they get there (There are 100 other ways to make money for them

  • 1234666 on July 4, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Ok so maybe Howard isn't right for the position but people it's the process the member countries and the ICC have taken that is the issue here! This article is stipulating that. The ICC has a frame work which they disbandon when certain high profile members don't get what they want. What most people won't say on cric info (and no media can afford to say) is that the Indians and Pakastanis are corrupt and thats why they don't want a former Prime Minister to be the President! Come on people... ADMIT IT! Everyone is thinking it, at least I have the balls to say it!(when I say "everyone" i mean decent people with half a clue) The Indian Board of Control are using thier power along with the other Asian nations so they can continue thier under handed, sloppy, sometime illigal practices to continue. The Srilankans are being racist, not John Howard! This sinks of corruption and bad sportsmanship too just dismiss the Aus/NZ candidate it's a discrace!

  • NumberXI on July 4, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    Nothing sums up the nonsensical nature of this article than the snide reference to the Comments section and the number of non-Aussie, non-English who respond to Haigh's rantings. Unfortunately Haigh lives in what I believe is called "fool's paradise" chosing to focus on only those comments while ignoring responses from people who appear to be Australian/English or reside in either of these countries. But for a man whose viewpoints are based on convenience and the flavour of the moment and who believes there is no other truer viewpoint than his often biased one, such niceties would never matter, would they?

  • everestpeak on July 4, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Well, looks like ICC hit a raw nerve with you. Logically what did you expect. SL, SA and Zim are bound to reject Howard. Rightfully you reserved your scorn from Pak and BL boards, for they jumped the ship at the last moment. Why? Just think aloud. Solidarity with SL. It is as simple as that. Just the way Eng, Aus and NZ have a solidarity, Asian teams together have the same.

    Why was NZ initial choice of Anderson rejected by AUS? If Howard had such love for cricket, AUS should be first nation to get the benefit of his experience, insight and out of box thinking. No reason was given for rejecting Anderson candidature.

    Understand how other nations / democracies function. Please make some effort for it. In this whole episode, "Gideon Haigh" is the biggest loser. Your reputation as a cricket historia suffered. You will looked upon as a supporter of Racist Howard. Howard had nothing to lose other than a paycheck.

  • Benkl on July 4, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    Australia , England and NZ shoudl just withdraw this sham , they can form their own IPL in India :-) That will leave endless India - Zimbabwe match ups.

  • pointofViv on July 4, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    What is the problem with some of these writer guys. With this article I have seen that how a coordinated writer becomes biased when it comes to prove a point which is hardly true. First of all Mr. Haigh, ask any common Aussie, they will be satisfied themselves when they heard Howard's rejection. You can sense this thing as many true astralian cricket lovers (not politicians) themselves have mentioned a sigh of relief over Howard's rejection. Then WHO ARE YOU? It is damn write that ICC is a democratic association and 7/10 COUNTS. Even, learned people like you (I guess), how can you expect to let a man have power which has been hated unanimously because of some important reason like, lack of cricket experience, good conduct, old racism rivalry etc... and enough about his LOVE for cricket. I am a cricket lover too, CAN YOU SUPPORT ME TO BE ICC PRESIDENT?

  • CricFan78 on July 4, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    I must be missing something but isnt Gideon advocating for democracy in one place and then rooting for Howard who cant even win an election in Australia. The most hilarious piece is that he thinks becoming Chief minister of state in India is easy haha

  • on July 4, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    This article is just another example of how frustrated some people are with India and the Subcontinent taking the center stage in cricket. Dont cry Gideon, sour grapes turned sourer it seems. your ruled world cricket's administration for nearly a century now. Let others take up the mantle. I know its hard for the likes of u and howard to digest it. But you got no other choice.Accept it or Keep Whining...

  • lucyferr on July 4, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    I do think the ICC members were cowardly in their rejection of the Aussie politico - they should have complained about the guy a lot earlier, preferably after Australia had arm-twisted the Kiwis into rejecting a better qualified candidate. But better late than never..... Now, would the same thing have happened if England & West Indies had proposed, say, John Major? No, because Major is suitably bland and harmless, while Howard goes out of his way to make enemies. If a politician can't handle (internal ICC) politics, what on earth is he good for? Didn't Cricket Australia hire him for his political acumen? .... As for all Howard's protestations about not being given a reason for the rejection, that's silly - the reason is clear "They don't like you." He's been told to scram, and he should get with the scramming.

  • jk2010 on July 4, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I agree. Time to disband the ICC and hand this thing over to the IPL. Yeah, there will be some corruption (just a bit less than Howard's government -- if you care to look at real corruption -- i.e., stealing from your indigenous populations), but at least the players will get paid well, there will be no racism, and none of the double talking skullduggery that Oz and its partners engaged in when they ran the show. Don't worry, Gideon, we'll throw you a bone too, just as we do to all your compatriots who come to India. And I assure you, we won't have our Prime Minister insulting our guests, or have our spectators perpetually engaging in racist sledges, or our umpires cheating, or our players insulting the opposition, drinking, spitting, and of course, cheating. Yes, I know, this is all not Cricket, but, to modify the immortal words of that epitome of Cricket civility, WG Grace, the players of the world are here to watch us bat, not to see you, or that bigoted PM of yours bowl.

  • ZEUS00 on July 4, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    This article lacks journalistic objectivity. The logic being offered is tainted with too much emotion and fake Aussie bravado. You can tell that Gideon is hurting, because Howard (a fellow Australian) has been "victimised" or so it seems in his map of the world. Had Australia recommended someone like Mark Taylor, in the first place, this issue wouldn't have arisen. Perception is very important, and remember it is not always logical. People in Asia/Middle East see Howard as one of the chief instigators of the Gulf war, where many innocent lives (on both sides) are daily being lost. The very name 'John Howard' (combined with his much-publicized political bloopers) is enough to trigger an adverse emotional reaction. A bit of tact and cultural sensitivity on part of Australia should've been reflected in their choice of candidates. We in NZ got dragged into this mischief, for no fault of ours, after categorically withdrawing from any political controversies in the Middle East.

  • EddyM on July 4, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    give it a rest gideon. howard lost the vote. you may not be happy about the voters (complain about that beforehand then) but you have to accept the outcome. that is the current system in place. if anyone doesn't like the system, then they know where the door is. cricket australia can go and form their own world cricket organisation and see who joins them.

  • thenkabail on July 4, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Hysteria and hypocracy: This is a pathetic write up by Gideon. It is uncontrolled hysteria and hypocracy of highest order. If 6 out of 10 voted for Mr. Howard, it would be democracy. If 6 out of 10 voted aginst Mr. Howard, it is moackery of democracy.

    What is Gideon talking?. He is basically telling here in this article: "how dare you Asian-African colored people vote against a white man?". It is too bad that majority voted out a white man. If majority of white men\women vote out a colored man, it would become democracy. Believe me, in so many boards and panels where whites dominate, they consistently vote colored people out, even when they are the very best. Then everyone has to accept it as democracy.

    Come on Gideon. Please look in mirror and search your conscience. Dont' forget years of racism and colonialist. World is moving towards fairness and equality. Learn to accept it and leave this hysteria.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 4, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    is this the gloriusly nurtured national habbit of australia,not to accept defeat ? (the issue about bragging rights being fresh) Mind you howard is in 8-2 position (come on we know,nz also dont want him). Isn't it a historical and incredible defeat ? Its like a team losing an odi by 300 runs and says we got poor umpiring decisions...!

  • kalevivek on July 4, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Dear Mr. Haigh,

    Take a LOW now, accept you are defeated and get lost. Do not justfy your mistakes and do not dig past. The past is more bad on your side than ours..

    Kale

  • on July 4, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Gideon Haigh has already made his point, he's seething with rage at the rejection of John Howard. he believes the BCCI has to be blaimed the most for this act. he believes Howard would have been a glorious choice. he believes a candidate who's nomination was bullied through by the CA, even over much more qualified and acceptable John Anderson of NZ should have been rubberstamped by the rest of the cricketing fraternity. but excuse me Sambit Bal and others in the editorial board of cricinfo, hasn't Gideon already made all these points in his last 3 articles that reached the readers within the last week or so? this is nothing but an 'eloquent' waste of valuable web space.

  • on July 4, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Excellent article, could not agree more.

    Particularly found the line about the 'comments section' quite amusing, as I have observed the same phenomenon of dominance myself.

  • Ranwith on July 4, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Basically ICC run as any international sports body has a right to accept or reject any nominee from a member organization. John Howard was so rejected. It was also unfortunate that CA and NZC were pushed to nominate Howard, because of the type of 'politicking and pressure' which Gedion Haigh lays out in his piece. CA and NZC have now to pay the price for nominating a controversial politician and a 'criket lover' . Is being a 'cricket lover' a sufficient qualification to be a future President of the ICC? CA and NZC should now send an acceptable name and let John Howard enjoy his retirement by watching cricket and continue his 'love affair'.

    Ranjith Withana

  • prabwal on July 4, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    really gideon ? ya ya, fair play? fair play is a basic right only to be applied to the australians, right ? what about caring about the sentiments of the other people those u ignored nominating John Howard ? doesn't matter, right ? if bcci had nominated Lalit Modi taking the shelter of the rotational policy, what u people would have done? John howard is assumed to be no better choice. Stop crying foul, it badly exposes how bad loser u are.

  • on July 4, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    I do not know why the author wants Howard in the first place, there is no explanation given for it also.

    the way the teams acted in a vote was shabby. But there is no point having a president who is disliked by 7/10 nations.I am sure the shouts of racism in world cricket will get louder given Howards past. It would have certainly been the doom for world cricket.. I would go to an extent to say the 7 nations have done the right by saying no and SAVING WORLD CRICKET..

  • hattrick_thug on July 4, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    I am shaken that a previously thoughtful and balanced writer has had to resort to such vitriol based on specious logic. A mere nomination does not an election make. 6 of 10 chose that they could not effectively work with Howard. An electoral loss of a "shoo-in" is not cause for outrage - it is a mere outcome, and does not any way signify the death of democracy. Horse-trading is just another name for teaming up, forming alliances, or whatever one chooses to call it. A result such as this is a natural consequence of the democratic process, not a miscarriage of it.

  • BhuvG on July 4, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    In its 106 years of history of FIFA,there were only 8 presidents served.But more interesting fact is that only one of them was a non-european (from Brazil).Still, FIFA is considered as a democratic organization, at least they claim.What do you have to say about that, Mr. Gideon Haigh?And,why was it a big deal for a black man to get elected as a President in a country where first such election took place in the year 1788 and remained a democratic society for 234 years.Because, even in so called'true democracy',manipulation of numbers is ultimately what matters first and the last.Just qualifications of the candidate alone doesn't qualify the candidate for the job, one has to procure (manipulate) the numbers.And, the process of manipulation is a debatable subject.Here comes the power of money which makes everything appear right.This is what happening around the world and at your own backyard.Just open your eyes to dare to accept it.Next time you write abt democracy,do some homework first

  • natmastak_so-called on July 4, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Sounds heard outside pcb meeting :BAN...FIXING...SNUB...DRUGS...LIFT BAN...BITE.... Sounds heard outside mr.gideon's house : BCCI...IPL...IPL...BCCI...BCCI...IPL...IPL...BCCI.

  • SmellyCat on July 4, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Good one! Mr. Gideon is entitled, and obliged, to voice his opinions. Who cares who the president of ICC is? Give it to Mr. Gideon, he wants it badly.

  • ABSengupta on July 4, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    This is bordering on the ludicrous. Gideon, we've had enough. Going by the comments even on Australian websites (blatantly pro-Howard "The Australian" included), not even all Australians are unhappy about this decision. Outside, there are none. Except those who are officially supposed to offer an opinion. That should tell you something.

    Anyway, you are clearly hell-bent on ignoring every logic against Mr.Howard while sugar coating anything that could go against him. Your description of Mr. Howard's policies directed at South Africa and Zimbabwe are conspicuous by their stark difference. They clearly show how biased you are.

    No one in the ICC is a saint, but that doesn't mean Mr. Howard is an angel of righteousness either.

  • on July 4, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    How low can you get Mr. Gideon Haigh?

    "he default route into the BCCI, for instance, is to become the chief minister of a state. Easy really. All you have to do is join a political party, suck up to the right people and knife the rest for 20 years or so - presto, you're a cricket administrator."

    How many months have you lived in India... Oh! Maybe you are Indian Citizen. But if you were I'd be ashamed to call myself an Indian.

    Maybe your lousy country that chooses to knife Indians has no concept called voting. And by choosing to elect a racist as your prime minister no less than four times shows how good your people are.

    So, don't go around pointing holes on others back you lousy mouth when you don't even have a shirt on.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 4, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    Sigh. In my opinion the whole "president of ICC thing" is a RITUAL, not a credible election. The ICC has many members....yet still a selective few take turns in saying who they want as a figure head, then it depends on the mood of the other members whether or not they agree...what crap system is that!?! Why don't they have proper campaigns and manifestos and general elections made public. Just shows ICC is an incompetent board and rather than arguing over who is the figure-head, time would better be spent on reform of the ENTIRE council..both their structure and they way they run the game.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 4, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    So,this article confirms that mr.gideon reads the comments section. And,he,who at some time of year attacks ipl,is now so desperate to show so called mistakes of bcci,that he is praising ipl franchise owners. Come on gideon,give us a break.

  • Farce-Follower on July 4, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    What a charade - Pawar talking about democracy ! Whom was he addressing? His small gang of acolytes in Baramati (his political constituency)? Mark my words, he will destroy the ICC, brick by brick.

  • denny.abr on July 4, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Dude u make it sound lik howard was the Saviour the world was waiting for all this long!!...the ultimate re-incarnation!....makes me wonder if ur under the payroll of CA!!...think its ur credentials tht has to be checked first....who let this guy let loose on CricInfo....am sad to say that CricInfo seems to be projecting only side of the affair(which happens to be the wrong side!),expect for one harsha article....Am no grt fan of BCCI admins(Nobody is!)...but nor do i consider Aus-Eng-NZ as the holy cows (as is being projected by a few 'experts')!!!!......

  • BhuvG on July 4, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, how about you author your 20th book on Democracy?Here comes the Abraham Lincoln from Australia - wait, should I say, from London.I agree with you that words 'BCCI' and 'Professionalism' don't go together (if prof. is measured with modern management standards) and triggers laughter when both put together, but only as much laughter as the following sentence does - "Australia's system is a 105-year-old antique".I can understand why it's so hard to swallow bitter pill for journalists or administrators like you or from your circles, because you have never come out of the circle to know the world.Come out of neighborhood you live in(AUS)where till date has not integrated its own native tribes into its national mainstream and see how world has changed for yourself.How naive you sound when you described how to get elected as cricket administrator in India?I think Oz should pull out of ICC and start playing backyard cricket - 'hard' and 'tough' - instead of swallowing this insult

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Being an Indian Cricket fan and an inherent supporter of the BCCI irrespective of it's arm-twisting and big brother attitude (exclusively because the system has produced absolute gems like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid), NOW I know what America must feel like as part of the United Nations!

    Mr. Haigh, I mean you no offence... but buddy, Life's Not Fair. As Harsha Bhogle says in his recent article: Have power, Will manipulate. The English and Australian cricket boards did it long ago, and the Asian bloc's doing it now. Crude justice, eh?

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    1. " It depends on who they are, how they got there"

    They came from Europe and almost destroyed the natives. Now they call themselves Australia

    2. " Lots of people voted freely in South Africa in the days of apartheid; many more did not. Lots of people voted in Zimbabwe in 2008; guns spoke louder"

    And yet Australians did not support the sanctions against South Africa but supported sanctions against Zimbabwe

    3. One is an open and transparent election process

    Did we ask these questions when Mr. Morgan was elected or when Mr Speed was chosen as the Chief Executive? NO!

    4. the default route into the BCCI, for instance, is to become the chief minister of a state

    Factually incorrect and actually a blatant lie

    5. His selection by CA/NZC was announced two months later

    "John Howard has to win over Asia's cricket nations, says Muttiah Muralitharan" - March 3rd 2010

    I feel sad for Gideon Haigh, he is a vey unhappy man :(

  • catalyst213 on July 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    The above article is an example of some non-noble person trying his best. A new low for lowly Gideon Haigh not ICC, I seriously reccomend you to not write because not everyone is an Aussie to bow to such excraments. Yes leave your head in the sand and keep crying, you'll have a better carrier doing that than writing.

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Mate,it's a democratic process. Nobody took the gun and said Howard should not join the ICC. If Howard is as good as you seem to make him to be then please ask him to garner 6 votes.If CA is not comfortable with the current electoral process then ask them to raise objection democratically and to change the process with the support of other members.But please don't go after other boards just because they voted against Howard.That ain't a good enough reason to vote for Howard just because you think other boards are corrupt. Give good enough reasons to vote for Howard and am yet to come across such an article by any media person or cricket administrators or cricket analysts.

  • catalyst213 on July 4, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, this was a very long, lengthy and an extremely boring article, well ofcourse I had to read it to say that. I seriously think you alongside John Howard find a new job. Crickey !! Which must mean "Crying for Cricket" unreasonably, in Downunder terminolgy.

  • Percy_Fender on July 4, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    I think it is time the Howard chapter is laid to rest. It appears that CA will go for a change of candidate. That should meet the requirements of the countries that voted against Howard.I believe that by writing more and more about this subject as perhaps the job or the employers require this matter is causing everything that needs to be avoided in the game of cricket. That is because, in the 10 countries that really play the game,there are blacks, browns and whites, all of whom get along nicely in playing the game.Someone like Mark Taylor or John Wright are men who have always carried out this philosophy as players and administrators. Their bias if any has always been for the game itself rather than any related issues. John Howard's defeat should not be seen as a loss of national prestige by people in Australia. It is just that 6 countries amongst those playing cricket wanted an slternate choice because of Howard's portrayal by the media as a racist and a cricket tragic.

  • Jafjaf on July 4, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    The "majority rule" is often described as a characteristic feature of democracy, but without responsible government or constitutional protections of individual liberties from democratic power, it is possible for dissenting individuals to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority".

  • pankajkumarsingh on July 4, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Gideon Haigh needs to get laid. He is obviously a frustrated man. John Howard did not have support of people who mattered. He lost an election.Get over it, and move on... What is democracy if this was not? Selecting John Howard just Aus/NZ wanted it? People WHO MATTER, in a room having a vote IS democracy. Australia's system is a 105-year-old antique, true... And that is the problem. Mr. Gideon Haigh cannot accept an electoral defeat after ruling fro 105 yrs. England cannot give knighthood (not that it matters) to a cricketer outside of Aus/NZ/Eng because they were slaves, and Mr. Gideon Haigh has the audacity to speak about an election? GET OVER IT... That is how democracy operates. A set of people (right or wrong) do not appreciate an individual, they vote 'em out.

  • Brahams on July 4, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Yawwwwwwwwwn

    Good night.

    P.S. Bow to the new masters, Gideon boy.

  • plsn on July 4, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    "Say what you will for John Howard" - he is out and that is the final verdict!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • plsn on July 4, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    "Say what you will for John Howard" - he is out and that is the final verdict!

  • Brahams on July 4, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Yawwwwwwwwwn

    Good night.

    P.S. Bow to the new masters, Gideon boy.

  • pankajkumarsingh on July 4, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Gideon Haigh needs to get laid. He is obviously a frustrated man. John Howard did not have support of people who mattered. He lost an election.Get over it, and move on... What is democracy if this was not? Selecting John Howard just Aus/NZ wanted it? People WHO MATTER, in a room having a vote IS democracy. Australia's system is a 105-year-old antique, true... And that is the problem. Mr. Gideon Haigh cannot accept an electoral defeat after ruling fro 105 yrs. England cannot give knighthood (not that it matters) to a cricketer outside of Aus/NZ/Eng because they were slaves, and Mr. Gideon Haigh has the audacity to speak about an election? GET OVER IT... That is how democracy operates. A set of people (right or wrong) do not appreciate an individual, they vote 'em out.

  • Jafjaf on July 4, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    The "majority rule" is often described as a characteristic feature of democracy, but without responsible government or constitutional protections of individual liberties from democratic power, it is possible for dissenting individuals to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority".

  • Percy_Fender on July 4, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    I think it is time the Howard chapter is laid to rest. It appears that CA will go for a change of candidate. That should meet the requirements of the countries that voted against Howard.I believe that by writing more and more about this subject as perhaps the job or the employers require this matter is causing everything that needs to be avoided in the game of cricket. That is because, in the 10 countries that really play the game,there are blacks, browns and whites, all of whom get along nicely in playing the game.Someone like Mark Taylor or John Wright are men who have always carried out this philosophy as players and administrators. Their bias if any has always been for the game itself rather than any related issues. John Howard's defeat should not be seen as a loss of national prestige by people in Australia. It is just that 6 countries amongst those playing cricket wanted an slternate choice because of Howard's portrayal by the media as a racist and a cricket tragic.

  • catalyst213 on July 4, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Gideon Haigh, this was a very long, lengthy and an extremely boring article, well ofcourse I had to read it to say that. I seriously think you alongside John Howard find a new job. Crickey !! Which must mean "Crying for Cricket" unreasonably, in Downunder terminolgy.

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Mate,it's a democratic process. Nobody took the gun and said Howard should not join the ICC. If Howard is as good as you seem to make him to be then please ask him to garner 6 votes.If CA is not comfortable with the current electoral process then ask them to raise objection democratically and to change the process with the support of other members.But please don't go after other boards just because they voted against Howard.That ain't a good enough reason to vote for Howard just because you think other boards are corrupt. Give good enough reasons to vote for Howard and am yet to come across such an article by any media person or cricket administrators or cricket analysts.

  • catalyst213 on July 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    The above article is an example of some non-noble person trying his best. A new low for lowly Gideon Haigh not ICC, I seriously reccomend you to not write because not everyone is an Aussie to bow to such excraments. Yes leave your head in the sand and keep crying, you'll have a better carrier doing that than writing.

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    1. " It depends on who they are, how they got there"

    They came from Europe and almost destroyed the natives. Now they call themselves Australia

    2. " Lots of people voted freely in South Africa in the days of apartheid; many more did not. Lots of people voted in Zimbabwe in 2008; guns spoke louder"

    And yet Australians did not support the sanctions against South Africa but supported sanctions against Zimbabwe

    3. One is an open and transparent election process

    Did we ask these questions when Mr. Morgan was elected or when Mr Speed was chosen as the Chief Executive? NO!

    4. the default route into the BCCI, for instance, is to become the chief minister of a state

    Factually incorrect and actually a blatant lie

    5. His selection by CA/NZC was announced two months later

    "John Howard has to win over Asia's cricket nations, says Muttiah Muralitharan" - March 3rd 2010

    I feel sad for Gideon Haigh, he is a vey unhappy man :(

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Being an Indian Cricket fan and an inherent supporter of the BCCI irrespective of it's arm-twisting and big brother attitude (exclusively because the system has produced absolute gems like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid), NOW I know what America must feel like as part of the United Nations!

    Mr. Haigh, I mean you no offence... but buddy, Life's Not Fair. As Harsha Bhogle says in his recent article: Have power, Will manipulate. The English and Australian cricket boards did it long ago, and the Asian bloc's doing it now. Crude justice, eh?