Mumbai: Cricket Board chief Shashank Manohar on Saturday refused to comment on the rejection of former Australia PM, John Howard, as vice presidential candidate at the International Cricket Council’s annual conference in Singapore earlier this week.
“As far as the issue of Mr John Howard is concerned, it has been decided and informed to all ICC Board members that nothing on the subject will be discussed outside. Otherwise it will be considered as breach of confidentiality clause,” Manohar said at a press conference on Saturday.
Howard’s candidacy was rejected when seven out of ten ICC full members, including India, voted against him at the conclave leading to speculation of a racial divide in world cricket.
At the same conclave, former BCCI president and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar took over the reins as the ICC President from Englishman David Morgan.
Upon arrival in Mumbai, Pawar was bombarded with questions about the Asian bloc’s refusal to back Howard but he rejected talk of any divide by insisting that the former Australian PM just didn’t get enough support in a democratically-held election.
“The majority did not support him. Ultimately in any democratic organisation, there has to be support from the majority but that was not there in his case,” he said.
Asked about Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi’s request to Sports Minister M S Gill to convince the Board to reschedule the two-Test rubber between India and Australia as it clashed with the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Manohar said the BCCI need not respond as it has not been approached yet.
“There’s no need for us to respond as we have not been asked to respond. We have not received any communication. It’s an internal matter between Mr Kalmadi and the Sports Minister,” he said.
Kalmadi, who is also the chairman of the CWG organizing committee has written a letter to Gill requesting the latter to talk to the BCCI officials and convince them to re-adjust the dates of the Test matches, which coincide with the October 3-14 Games.
As per the the itinerary released by the BCCI last month, Australia will play two Tests and three one-day internationals in India between October 2 and 24.
The two Tests between India and Australia are scheduled to be hosted by Mohali (Oct 2-6) and Bangalore (Oct 10-14), while the three one-dayers will be held in Kochi (Oct 19), Goa (Oct 22) and Visakhapatnam (Oct 24).
“I seek to write to your good offices to try and convince BCCI to reschedule the two Test matches between India and Australia, now slated to start on October 2 in Mohali and October 10 in Bangalore so that cricket matches do not clash with the Commonwealth Games,” Kalmadi wrote in his letter to Gill.