Percy Sonn will continue as president of the International Cricket Council, extending his term at the helm to three years till June 2009. The announcement came at the end of a two-day board meeting of the ICC at Cape Town.
The normal term of a president is two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension, and Sonn followed the precedent set by Jagmohan Dalmiya, Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Gray.
Interestingly, the nomination committee did not make a recommendation to the board on the identity of Sonn's successor. The committee was deadlocked on the merits of the two candidates, David Morgan of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Sharad Pawar of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The matter now goes back to the governance committee.
"I am delighted to accept the Board's invitation to remain as President for a third year. I have had a busy but immensely enjoyable first year in the role that has seen many pluses for our great game," said Sonn.
He was keen to point out the advances made by the ICC in the recent past. "Chief among those have been the adoption of our new strategic plan and the WADA [anti-doping] Code, a successful Champions Trophy in India and our new broadcasting agreement with ESPN STAR Sports which will play a major role in promoting cricket and safeguarding its future by offering all of our members financial certainty.
"Now, on the verge of a historic first-ever World Cup in the Caribbean and with the inaugural Twenty20 World Championships to come in September, I look forward to continuing as president for another two years as we seek to ensure our strong sport continues to grow stronger."
The ICC board also made a significant change in the laws of the game: the match referee, and not the on-field umpires, will now be the judge of when a match will be terminated, should such a circumstance arise. This follows the fiasco at The Oval involving England and Pakistan, where the first instance of a match being forfeited was recorded.
"The board's decision reflects the fact that the match referee is the chief executive of the match, the person who has overall responsibility for the way the game is played and officiated," explained Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the ICC. "This decision does not, however, detract from the on-field role of the umpires and they would, of course, remain an integral part of the process of awarding a match in those circumstances."