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John Howard defiant over ICC snub

Melbourne: Former Australia Prime Minister John Howard will not step aside as the nominee for the International Cricket Council`s vice-presidency despite being snubbed by the body on Wednesday.

Howard said he had been given no indication as to why his candidacy was blocked by a reported six of the 10 major cricketing nations at the ICC`s meeting in Singapore.

"Even in private discussions they are very reluctant to give a reason," Howard said.

The ICC asked both Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), who nominated Howard to the role, to resubmit a new candidate by Aug. 31. The vice president will become the president of the governing body in 2012.

"I won`t be withdrawing," Howard said.

"I wanted to do this job, I wanted to do it well and I would have devoted my full time to it."

Howard had been a contentious choice for the position, with Australian media reporting that his criticism of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe`s regime while Australian Prime Minister had alienated him with both South Africa and Zimbabwe.

"All I can say in relation to Robert Mugabe is that if that is the reason I wear the negative attitude as a badge of honour because I don`t apologise in any way for the criticism I offer of the Mugabe regime," Howard said.

"If it was in some way based on past political reasons then that is a very bad precedent to be establishing for the ICC because there are serving politicians holding positions of authority within the ICC."

"I`m not criticising that but I`m just drawing attention to it."

CA and NZC said on Wednesday they were "deeply disappointed" with the decision.

Bureau Report

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