Ex-Australia Prime Minister John Howard Fails in Bid for Cricket's Top Job

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who once described himself as a “cricket tragic,” today lost his bid to serve as president of the sport’s governing body from 2012 due to lack of support from its board.

Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket, who jointly nominated Howard to be the International Cricket Council’s vice president for two years before taking over its leadership, said they were “deeply disappointed” the group didn’t support their candidate.

“We were delighted that the most senior world figure ever considered for this role agreed to accept the nomination,” Jack Clarke and Alan Isaac, chairmen of the Australian and New Zealand cricket groups respectively, said in a joint statement. “ We remain convinced it is reasonable for his nomination to be supported by the ICC executive board and we are deeply disappointed by the position taken at today’s meeting.”

Following a meeting in Singapore in which no vote was taken, the ICC’s executive board asked the two groups to nominate another candidate by Aug. 31. The two organizations settled on Howard only after former British Airways Plc chief Rod Eddington was called in to help resolve an impasse in which they favored different candidates.

Under the ICC’s rotation of the presidency, a candidate from Australia or New Zealand is scheduled to fill the role for two years from 2012. Current President David Morgan will hand over to India’s Sharad Pawar for a two-year term to start in mid-2010.

The 70-year-old Howard, Australia’s prime minister from 1996 to 2007, said he was “honored and humbled” when he was nominated in March.

“Cricket has been one of my lifelong passions and, if the ICC accepts my nomination, it will be a privilege to serve this great game,” Howard said in an ICC statement at that time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

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