New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Justin Vaughan has admitted his regret at nominating John Howard for the International Cricket Council (ICC) vice-presidency after the former Australian prime minister's candidacy was rejected by cricket's governing body last month. Six of the 10 Test-playing nations opposed Howard's joint nomination from NZC and Cricket Australia (CA), to leave them searching for a new nominee. NZC and CA now have until August 31 to put forward a new name for the role, which will see a successful candidate graduate to the presidency in 2012. "In perfect hindsight, if we'd known what the ICC's position on John Howard was going to be - it is regrettable," Vaughan said.
"We felt clear messages coming back around John Howard. Australia invested a lot of time into getting Howard to put himself forward for the position, so it's a sensitive position for them. "It's something that we'll discuss with them in the next couple of weeks." NZC's original preferred candidate, Sir John Anderson, last week declined to reapply for the role to further setback the process of finding a new name. NZC met on Friday to discuss the matter, following which their former chief executive Chris Doig and the current chairman Alan Isaac emerged as leading contenders. "Both those people certainly tick the boxes," Vaughan said.
"I'm not going to go into detail around names. There are some good contenders in New Zealand and we'll be exploring those with Cricket Australia." The original nomination process lingered for three months and Vaughan said he wanted more decisive action this time around. The possibility of a quick resolution may, however, be hamstrung by Howard's intention not to withdraw from the process with CA reportedly considering whether to re-nominate the 71-year-old. "It's really important NZC and CA are on the same page with the new nominee. We're certainly hoping for a quicker process than last time," Vaughan added.
"They [the ICC] said he [Howard] was unacceptable and asked us to re-nominate. That's pretty clear." Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe ruled himself out on today. However, he did suggest Isaac had the diplomatic skills and pedigree to be successful. "The candidate needs to have knowledge of the landscape and be able to politically negotiate. Alan Isaac is in a good position to carry that kind of role," Crowe said. "If they got stuck I would help out, but I'm not the kind of guy they need. They need someone with a lot more political experience and boardroom doings. "It's not something you put your hand up for. It's a very important appointment. John Anderson would have been ideal, so they'll be searching for someone of a similar ilk." * PA