I am not a puppet, says NZC chief Alan Isaac

Melbourne: Nominated for the ICC vice-President’s post, New Zealand Cricket chief Alan Isaac today insisted that he would not let himself become a “puppet” in the politically diverse body.

Isaac was nominated after former Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s candidature was rejected by the Afro-Asian bloc and New Zealand’s John Anderson refused to be nominated for the post.

Despite being a late pick, Isaac said he does not feel like a last-choice candidate.

“I don’t feel like second or third pick and if you talk to anyone who knows me, I’m not a puppet, I am my own person,” Isaac told ‘The Weekend Australian’.

“I’d like to think I’m judged on what I achieve or what I don’t achieve in two, three or four years’ time,” he said.

The 58-year-old said one of his priorities after getting the ICC member nations’ nod for the job would be to improve the governing body’s image.

“As Haroon (ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat) said recently, one of the things we all need to do is to improve the reputation of the ICC,” Isaac said.

“In the time I’ve been at the table it does operate in a more effective way than the media would portray it. The realities are that decisions which have been made and will be made in the future inevitably won’t be met with general acceptance.

“It often depends on what your own personal interests are as to whether you agree with a decision. That just goes with the territory,” he added.

Talking about the furore that followed Howard’s rejection for the post, Isaac said the former Aussie PM should have been given an explanation on why his name was not acceptable to the financially powerful Asian and African bloc.

“I can understand why people would say that and like John Howard it’s a little frustrating that countries weren’t specific about why they didn’t support John,” said Isaac.

“Like (Cricket Australia chief executive) Jack Clarke I was really disappointed with how the Howard nomination was handled. We put a lot of effort into that process and I believe John was a very good candidate.

“But we live in a democracy and we have to respect the views of other people. You move on,” he added.

Isaac did a course in corporate mediation a couple of decades ago and said he would need that expertise when he joins the ICC.

“It’s a technique to avoid matters going to litigation and it’s an area I was interested in so I trained as a mediator and for a number of years worked as a mediator to settle disputes, generally commercial disputes,” he said.

“I’ve had a bit of experience working with people of different nationalities with different interests and backgrounds. I’m not saying that makes me an expert but I’ve got some experience of recognising that people come at things from different backgrounds,” he added.