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Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 09:50 UK

Former Australian PM John Howard rejected for ICC post

John Howard
Howard was nominated after much debate in Australia and New Zealand

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has failed in his bid to become the next vice-president of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The 70-year-old hoped to become vice-president later this year before taking up the presidency in 2012.

The ICC has asked Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to find someone else as he "did not have sufficient support in the ICC Board".

CA and NZC said they were "deeply disappointed" by the decision.

They now have until the end of August to come up with an alternative candidate for the two-year rotating presidency, for which the vice-presidency is a stepping stone.

Welshman David Morgan is the current ICC president, to be replaced later this year by India's Sharad Pawar, the current vice-president, whose promotion creates the vacancy which must be filled by an Australasian candidate.

606: DEBATE

A joint statement from Australian cricket chairman Jack Clarke and New Zealand counterpart Alan Isaac said they "had nominated the best possible candidate from the region under the ICC's stipulated process".

The statement continued: "John Howard is an eminent and well-credentialed international statesman, who Australia and New Zealand nominated after a comprehensive selection process.

"We jointly nominated Mr Howard as a candidate as he possesses significant leadership and administrative skills.

"We believe cricket needs to continue to seek excellence and dispassionate independence in the game's global governance.

"We were delighted that the most senior world figure ever considered for this role agreed to accept the nomination."

The statement concluded that they would return to their respective boards to discuss their next course of action, and it "is premature for us to make any further comment."

Howard told Sky News that he did not know why his candidacy had been rejected, and that it would set a "bad precedecent" if the decision was based on politics.

"I'm disappointed at the outcome. I wanted to do this job. I thought I could do it well and I would have devoted my full time to it," he added.

Howard retired from politics after losing the 2007 Australian election. He is a lifelong cricket fan but his nomination for the ICC post was controversial from the start.

CA and NZC were involved in a lengthy public disagreement, with New Zealand wanting to nominate their former chairman John Anderson for the position, before agreeing to support Howard.

But two Australian newspapers report that only Australia, New Zealand and England had supported him, with six of the 10 major cricketing nations signing a letter opposing his candidacy.

It is thought comments he made in his political career criticising Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's regime may have cost him support from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Sri Lankan cricket officials, meanwhile, are believed to have questioned his lack of a cricketing administrative background, and they may also have taken into account comments attributed to him about the controversial bowling action of Test wicket record-holder Muttiah Muralitharan.



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see also
Morgan named ICC president elect
29 Jun 07 |  Cricket
Morgan 'to be next ICC president'
27 Jun 07 |  Cricket
Duo short-listed for top ICC post
02 Jan 07 |  India
Profile: John Howard
24 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Has John Howard 'done his dash'?
19 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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