Cricket Australia meet to decide Howard’s fate

Zeecric Bureau

Melbourne: Cricket Australia board officials are expected to select a replacement for John Howard as the candidate for the ICC’s vice-presidency in a meeting on Friday afternoon.

However, no quick solution must be expected as according to the regulation settled earlier, the ultimate decision will be made with New Zealand Cricket, whose board is not available for a meeting for another two weeks.

Reports earlier claimed that Cricket Australia is unlikely to re-nominate Howard for the position as the forthright rejection of his candidature at the ICC board in Singapore last week has left the Board humiliated.

Australia and New Zealand were given time until August 31 to find another candidate for the post of ICC vice-president and Cricket Australia’s special meeting is the first formal step towards the same.

Cricket Australia’s Chairman Jack Clarke, who is currently in London, will lead the teleconference and is the most likely Australian nomination for the post, which includes an automatic promotion to ICC president in 2012.

“Technically John Howard is still the candidate and it’s up to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to work out if they want to continue to support him,” a Cricket Australia spokesman told a cricket website.

“Technically there is a chance he could still be the candidate until New Zealand Cricket’s board meeting.” Howard will stand by Cricket Australia’s decision, which could involve giving New Zealand its choice.

The New Zealand board will discuss the issue on July 23, however, indicating that there was no progress in the situation since the meetings in Singapore.

Earlier, New Zealand Cricket Board nominated their former chairman Sir John Anderson to fill the position, but an independent panel eventually ruled in favour of the 70-year-old Howard.

However, last week’s setback in the Singapore ICC meeting saw the downright denunciation of Howard’s candidature as six of the ten board members sign a letter opposing his appointment.

CA spokesman said that no public announcement of Friday’s meeting will be made until Clarke has a word with his New Zealand counterpart Alan Isaac.

Other Australian contenders include Mark Taylor, the former captain, while the deputy chairman is Wally Edwards, a batsman who played three Tests against England in 1974-75.

South Australia’s Ian McLachlan is another member on the board with close ties to Howard after being his defence minister for two years in the mid-1990s.

Geoff Tamblyn, from Victoria, and the India-born Harry Harinath, the New South Wales squad doctor since 1990, also have significant experience but were overlooked the first time around.