John Howard shouldn’t be ICC President
This world we live in is a very strange and diverse place where nobody knows what’s in store next. Incompetent ones are frequently endorsed at the mercy of the better equipped and qualified. It was just days ago when newly appointed Sports Minister C.B Ratnayake claimed that Sri Lanka Cricket is the third most corrupt institution in the country. But to everyone’s surprise –not everyone I guess-the Chairman and the Secretary were retained.
This article is not about the current Sri Lankan Cricket dilemma but concerning the pending unrest regarding the ICC presidency. Sharad Pawar is due to take over from David Morgan soon and the formality ends there. Talk of the town is pointed towards his deputy who invariably succeeds Pawar in two years time.
Australia and New Zealand were to nominate the candidate and they after some disagreements choose former Australian Prime Minister John Howard ahead of more qualified and versatile philosopher in Sir John Anderson.
John Howard-70-is well respected individual around the world but not everywhere. He was the second longest serving Prime Minister of Australia .He was succeeded by Kevin Rudd in 2007 where he lost his parliamentary seat too. Howard was so popular among Australian public that he was able to hang on to the role for 11 long years. But his path of glory was not all rosy as his much publicized issue with Aboriginal relations suggests.
Apparently Howard is a diehard cricket fan, even acquiring self proclaimed nickname in "Cricket Tragic". He is renowned for delivering half-trackers at will at events whenever given the ball. This begs the question just because someone is a profuse cricket fanatic, makes him an ICC president elect? All right, he was the Australian Prime Minister but one needs to realize that ICC presidency is a whole new ball game.
South Africa and Zimbabwe have made no secret of its opposition towards Howard, pointing argument that he has no cricket governing experience to brag about. Out of the 10 votes, 4 are required to block a nomination and in a surprising revelation Sri Lanka Cricket has also expressed their displeasure for Howard, so this leads to another vote which would automatically halt the nomination.
Credit should be given when it’s due, and for once-once in a long time- Sri Lanka Cricket needs to be applauded for taking the right initiative. Mind you, this the same man who called our legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan a "chucker" not once but twice. He didn’t have the dignity to even apologize to Murali when he refused to tour Down Under. Fact of the matter is Howard had no business calling a cricketer names like that.
Former ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed has come out defending his own countryman stating that Ehsan Mani didn’t also have a cricketing background but was a huge success as the President. But Mr. Speed what you need to understand is nor was Mani a former President of Pakistan who had run-ins with incumbent members of ICC before being president. This is the first time that members of the ICC are taking an initiative to block a candidate so there has to be some thing which doesn’t meet the normal eye. All the others have been unanimous decisions. This is the worst thing that has fallen upon to World Cricket as this leads to a major political rift among the members.
The storm is clearly visibly coming. Therefore for the sake of our beloved game, it’s a good thing if Howard’s nomination hits an unceremonious roadblock because political indifferences at the helm are the worst nightmare that can fall upon cricket. I donhave any personal grudge towards Mr. John Howard but for the best interests of the game it should be run by-non controversial and dignified governors who had experience in their respective boards.
Mr. Howard may be a self declared "Cricket Tragic", but I’m afraid if he’s to get elected it may ironically turn the other way around. "Tragic for Cricket".