India back Alan Isaac for top ICC post

India’s cricket chiefs on Saturday endorsed New Zealand’s Alan Isaac as the next vice-president of the world governing body after former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was snubbed for the job.

Isaac, who heads New Zealand Cricket, was on Friday nominated by Australia and New Zealand for VP, a post that will see him take over as president of the International Cricket Council in mid-2012.

The working committee of the Indian cricket board (BCCI), which met in Mumbai on Saturday, decided to back Isaac for the post that is rotated among the ICC’s Test-playing nations.

“The committee approved the candidature of Alan Isaac, chairman, New Zealand Cricket, for the post of ICC vice-president,” the BCCI said in a one-line statement.

Isaac, whose nomination is expected to be rubber-stamped by the ICC’s executive board soon, will serve as vice-president for two years before taking over from current president Sharad Pawar of India.

Isaac, a chartered accountant by profession, has been on the board of New Zealand Cricket for 20 years and became its chairperson in 2008.

The ICC had on July 1 rejected the candidature of Howard — following a reported revolt by the Afro-Asian bloc in the ICC — and asked Australia and New Zealand to nominate a new man by August 31.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat had declined to disclose why Howard’s bid had failed, but reports suggested the former PM enjoyed the support of only Australia, New Zealand and England.

Howard’s candidature was reportedly not backed by the ICC’s seven other full members — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.

The rejection of Howard, who was Australian Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007, was believed to stem from his zealous opposition to Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe.

He also incurred the wrath of the powerful Asian cricket bloc in 2004 by labelling Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan a “chucker”, or someone with an illegal bowling action.

In 2006, Howard strongly supported Australian umpire Darrell Hair, who outraged Pakistan by halting a Test match and awarding victory to England during a protest over ball-tampering allegations.

Several Test nations also objected to Howard’s appointment because he had no experience of cricket administration.

Cricket Australia on Friday declined to name another candidate after Howard was rejected, and instead decided to support Isaac. – AFP

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