Ray Mali has become acting president of the International Cricket Council following the death of Percy Sonn.
Ray Mali will hold the ICC presidency for more than a year
The 70-year-old, president of Cricket South Africa since 2003, will assume the role for approximately 13 months until the ICC's 2008 annual conference.
Cricket South Africa was allowed to nominate a successor after Sonn, also a South African, died unexpectedly.
"I take this assignment as an honour," said Mali, who steps down as president of CSA with immediate effect.
"I feel lucky to be taking over at a time when the game is in such good shape.
"It is also a privilege to succeed Percy, somebody who was a good friend and a person who worked so hard for the betterment of this great game.
"I am fully prepared to commit myself to cricket and to take the ICC strategic plan forward during my time in office."
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "Ray is an experienced and skilled administrator, a man of calm assurance and someone who combines a deep love of the game with an understanding of how best to secure its well-being."
The ICC will now work to appoint a permanent president to take office in 2008, and this will be done in "due course".
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan and India's Sharad Pawar are the leading candidates.