Howard criticises Afro-Asian bloc for ICC leadership snub
Melbourne: Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Wednesday hit out at the Afro-Asian members of the International Cricket Council for not disclosing the reason why they rejected his candidature for the ICC vice-president`s post.
Howard`s ambition to head the International Cricket Council after India`s Sharad Pawar was thwarted by the powerful Afro-Asian bloc at an ICC Executive Board meeting in Singapore today.
"Those who`ve indicated they don`t support it have not given a reason. Even in private discussions, they`re very reluctant to give a particular reason. It`s certainly an unusual situation because I haven`t been told, nor have the representatives of Cricket Australia been told, why this attitude at this stage should be as it is," he said.
"My nomination went forward with the full support of both Australia and New Zealand and I`m disappointed at the outcome. I wanted to do this job, I felt I could do it well and I would have devoted my full time to it," Howard was quoted as saying.
Howard said if his candidature was rejected because of his past link with politics, it would set a "bad precedent".
"That`s not been said although it`s been widely speculated. If it was in some way based on past political positions, well that`s a very bad precedent to be establishing," he said.
Howard`s tough stance against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and past criticism of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan were believed to be the key factors behind ICC`s decision.
But a defiant Howard said he would wear it as a "badge of honour" if African members rejected him because of his hardline stance against Zimbabwe President Mugabe while in office.
"I wear the criticism as a badge of honour. I don`t apologise in any way for the criticism I offered of the Mugabe regime. If it was in some way based on past political positions, well that`s a very bad precedent to be establishing for the ICC," he said.
"I`m out of politics. I don`t have any political agenda internationally other than of course promoting good relations between Australia and our long-term friends, many of which are cricket-playing nations in both Asia and Africa."