PCB may follow India over Howard`s nomination

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board is likely to follow their Asian counterparts when the International Cricket Council decides former Australian Prime Minister John Howard`s nomination for the post of Vice-President this week.

The nomination if accepted would see Howard taking over as ICC Chairman by 2012 from Sharad Pawar who will take the reins from David Morgan as ICC chief this week.

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have openly opposed the nomination of Howard for the Vice President`s post and the former Australian premier recently visited Zimbabwe in a bid to garner support for his nomination.

Australian board officials have also reached Singapore to gather support for Howard who is a joint nominee of Cricket Australia and New Zealand.

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka don`t support Howard`s nomination as according to them he is a politicized candidate who has made several disparaging and controversial remarks in the past against cricket playing nations.

If Pakistan or any other country joined SA, SL and Zimbabwe in opposing Howard`s nomination he could not be nominated by the ICC executive board.

"The Pakistan board had sought advise from its government and has been told to decide what they feel is best for them," a source said.

"So now the situation is that the Chairman of the PCB, Ejaz Butt will follow the same policy as adopted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh over the Howard nomination," the source disclosed.

The Indian board has so far publicly only voiced support for the system under which Howard`s nomination came about but not for the candidate himself.

"What line India adopts at the meeting will be important as this line is most likely to be also followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh," the source said.

He pointed out that the government had not given clear instructions to the PCB on what line to adopt on Howard`s nomination as it felt that the PCB itself was in a better position to know what was best for them in the international cricket community.

In 2002 during his tenure as Prime Minister, Howard had said that the decision of Australian team`s visit to Pakistan was with Cricket Australia, even though former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had ensured full-proof security.

"In similar fashion the government appears to have left the decision of whether to support Howard`s nomination up to the PCB Chairman," the source added.