27 May 2010

Howard's ICC position still up in the air

12:48 pm on 27 May 2010

The former Australian Prime Minister John Howard's nomination as world cricket's new supremo may yet be blocked as rumblings of opposition increase in volume.

The cricket boards of South Africa and Zimbabwe are reportedly working to undermine Howard's progression to the post of International Cricket Council president, while Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket remain committed to the appointment.

Incoming president and Indian administrator Sharad Pawar is also believed to be increasingly edgy about partnering with such a high profile figure.

Under the ICC's process, Howard would serve as vice president under Pawar before taking over the top job in 2012.

His nomination by Australia and New Zealand is meant to be ratified in June, but there is now a strong possibility that the choice will be blocked for the first time in ICC history.

Zimbabwean opposition to Howard was always a likely scenario given his strong opposition to the regime of Robert Mugabe - and the links of Zimbabwe cricket's executive to Mugabe's Zanu PF powerbase.

South Africa have chosen to unite with their neighbour on these grounds, while India's history of voting in solidarity with fellow "non-white" nations does not bode well for Howard.

The ICC's chief executive Haroon Lorgat has not denied the fractious nature of backroom discussions.

On the subject of what would happen if Howard's nomination was rejected, Lorgat says they'll probably go back and ask the same region for another nomination.

The New Zealander Sir John Anderson is believed to have been a contender for the position that went to Howard