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ICC mum on why it rejected Howard bid

July 01, 2010 20:19 IST

The International Cricket Council refused to give a reason on Thursday for its decision to reject former Australian Prime Minister John Howard's bid for the vice-presidency.

The sport's governing body formally proclaimed Sharad Pawar as its new president at the end of the five-day gathering and opened his tenure by sidestepping constant interrogation over the man who would have replaced him if his bid had succeeded.

On Wednesday, the ICC asked both Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), who nominated Howard, to submit a new candidate by August 31. The vice president will automatically become the president in 2012.

"There are no political connotations to this decision," Pawar, who replaced Briton David Morgan, told reporters. "We will wait for Australia and New Zealand's recommendation."

Seated next to Pawar, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat also spent most of the news conference defending the board's decision.

"The ICC Board does not have to give reasons, there simply was an insufficient number of delegates in support of the candidate so it did not go to a vote," he said.

Howard, 70, had been a contentious choice for the position, with Australian media reporting that his criticism of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's regime while Prime Minister had alienated him with both South Africa and Zimbabwe.


His condemnation of world record wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action also met with anger in the off-spinner's native Sri Lanka.

"Whether or not Mr Howard could have done a good job is a secondary issue as his nomination was rejected by the board," Lorgat added.

"We didn't think it was necessary to allow him a presentation as there were more members not in support than in support."

Despite his rejection, Howard was adamant that he would not step aside as the region's nomination and said he had been given no indication as to why his candidacy was blocked by a reported six of the 10 major cricketing nations at the Singapore meeting.

"Even in private discussions they are very reluctant to give a reason," Howard told Australia's Sky News on Thursday.

"I won't be withdrawing. I wanted to do this job, I wanted to do it well and I would have devoted my full time to it."

The ICC also used the meeting to advocate the use of technology whenever possible, including the Decision Review System (DRS) at next year's World Cup, and in all test matches where available.

In addition, the governing body awarded the hosting rights for the 2013 Champions Trophy to the England and Wales Cricket Board and looked into the possible development of day/night test matches.

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