Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s bid to become vice-president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is over after the governing body’s executive board rejected his nomination at a meeting in Singapore.
Howard was put up as the candidate of Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket, whose turn it is to fill the position, but there has been widespread opposition to his appointment and the ICC today acknowledged he "did not have sufficient support" from the wider board.
Under the terms of the ICC’s regional rotation nomination process, the boards of Australia and New Zealand have now been asked to submit a new candidate by August 31.
Had Howard’s candidacy not been so strongly opposed, top of the agenda at today’s get together would have been the formalising of his appointment.
Howard famously described himself as a "cricket tragic" but it is his political history which appears to have torpedoed his hopes of a second career in the sport’s corridors of power.
He was an outspoken critic of Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe during his time as Australian PM and led calls for a cricketing boycott of the country.
As such, his candidacy was strongly opposed by Zimbabwean officials, who were able to muster support from neighbouring South Africa and, later, the influential Asian block.
Howard made a last-ditch attempt to build bridges with Zimbabwe Cricket last week, visiting the country for a clear-the-air summit with ZC managing director Ozias Bvute.
Bvute spoke well of their meeting, describing it as "friendly, constructive and frank", but it was clearly not enough to swing the consensus in Howard’s favour and his candidacy eventually fell by the wayside without so much as a vote being taken.~
New Zealand Cricket may now wish to use the developments as a platform to relaunch their support for Sir John Anderson, their preferred candidate, who lost out to Howard after the pair’s rival claims were assessed by an independent committee.
Kevin Rudd proven not as strong as John Howard
WIN tickets to see the Australia v Pakistan tests