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John Howard no-balled on world cricket job

TheAustralian.com.au

JOHN Howard's nomination as president of the International Cricket Council appears to have hit trouble, with a number of nations blocking the appointment.

It appears the former prime minister is off-side with African delegates to the ICC and, more worryingly for him, India.

Sources told The Australian the former Coalition leader's tough stance against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's corrupt regime was part of the reason for the problem, while India's concerns are not clear.

Zimbabwe and South Africa are both understood to have expressed unhappiness about Mr Howard's appointment, with the latter said to have told ICC president David Morgan he was ignoring the sentiments of "an overwhelming" number of countries in pushing for the appointment.

Mr Howard's nomination was supposed to be ratified last month, but an ICC meeting did not discuss the topic because of travel problems caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption.

It is understood it was taken off the agenda, with an eye to the issue being worked out behind the scenes. The next ICC meeting is scheduled for Singapore in June.

Sources quoted in the Indian media claim incoming ICC president Sharad Pawar does not want Mr Howard as his deputy in the interim. The president-delegate must serve a term as deputy before assuming the top job.

Mr Pawar and Mr Morgan are expected to meet this weekend to discuss the problem over the nomination, but there are suggestions a fresh candidate might be called for to end the impasse.

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COMMENT: If John Howard ran the ICC as he ran Australia,
international cricket would be dead within 5 years.

PaulGTully@gmail.com