Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo
Alan Isaac, the New Zealand Cricket chairman, will replace John Howard as the ICC vice-presidency nomination following Cricket Australia's refusal to choose another candidate. Howard, the country's former prime minister, was blocked last month and even though CA's board remains convinced he is the best man for the job, it will support Isaac's elevation.
Isaac and Jack Clarke, CA's chairman, were furious with Howard's rejection during the ICC annual conference in Singapore, following an exhaustive selection process for an increasingly complicated role. After being told by the ICC board to find another option by August 31, New Zealand asked Sir John Anderson, the country's original recommendation, to reconsider. When Anderson refused Isaac, 58, stepped forward.
CA's board members met via teleconference on Friday and were loyal in their commitment to Howard. However, they accepted Isaac would become the joint-nomination for a job that includes a two-year term as ICC president from 2012.
"We are not prepared to suggest another candidate but given it is clear John Howard will not be supported, we clearly have to consider a new approach," Clarke said. "Accordingly, we are pleased to support New Zealand Cricket's suggestion that Alan Isaac be nominated for the role. Alan has a strong cricket and sporting administrative background, but the relevant benefit he brings to the table is his strong record as an expert practitioner and adviser in organisational governance and his business and financial acumen."
Isaac said he was honoured to be nominated but did not want to comment before the position was confirmed by the ICC. Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said Isaac was an outstanding choice. "The board of New Zealand Cricket is both proud to nominate its chairman for this global leadership role and confident in his ability to make a significant contribution to the sport," Vaughan said.
Isaac, who was a long-standing Wellington club batsman, succeeded Anderson as New Zealand Cricket chairman in 2008, a role he accepted after 35 years working for KPMG accountants. He has sat on a variety of sporting, business and community boards, and is currently involved with New Zealand's Red Cross and the country's fire service's auditing committee. If the nomination is accepted by the ICC he will have an important role in hosing down all sorts of problems.
Concerns over Howard's suitability for the job were raised as soon as his candidacy was revealed and they peaked when six ICC board members from Asia, Africa and the West Indies signed a letter in Singapore opposing the appointment. Under the ICC's regulations it was the turn of Australia and New Zealand to select someone who would be rubber-stamped as Sharad Pawar's deputy.
Clarke is still angry that Howard, who was asked by CA to nominate, was vetoed. "We still have been given no official reason why a strongly-credentialed candidate of Howard's qualifications, skill and stature was not supported," Clarke said. "Our directors were today very strongly of the view that Howard continues to be the best candidate CA could nominate."
Critics of Howard pointed to his political decisions and lack of experience in cricket administration as reasons for his blocking Isaac has none of those issues.