Who can take the ICC seriously if it’s unwilling to stick with its own protocols when choosing cricket’s leaders?

2010-07-03 00:00

CRICKET has been plunged into crisis by the unwillingness of the game’s governing body to abide by its own protocols. All the rest is a distraction. John Howard’s merits are irrelevant. The balance of power in the game is irrelevant. Simply, the ICC countries unanimously adopted a policy for the nomination of future leaders and then ditched it at the first sign of trouble. Evidently the ICC is incapable of abiding by its own decisions.

Who now can take it seriously?

Some Indians have taken the outrage about Howard’s rejection personally. Emotion, not reason, sustains their argument. For a hundred years India and many other coloured nations were patronised by Western powers blithely running the game. Happily those days are long gone. India’s rise is to be welcomed. It is a secular and vast land with a booming economy and a deep love of the game whose main weakness lies in its refusal to recognise the evil rife in Zimbabwe. Their blindness is as bad as Howard’s refusal to support boycotts of apartheid South Africa. Both tyrannies have been condemned with equal rage in this column. How many can say the same?

India is not the issue. Cricket teaches us to play the ball and not the bowler. In any case, Sharad ­Pawar, the new president of the ICC and a union minister no less, himself urged all parties to accept the established protocol. In a trice cricket has managed to offend a senior Indian minister, a former prime minister and the people who elected them.

Howard is not the issue either. People have allowed their hatred of him to cloud their judgment. He is not standing for parliament. He has offered his skills to cricket, and was even prepared to serve as a deputy for two years. The idea that a politician can know nothing about the game is stupid. Was Robert Menzies ignorant? Michael Manley, once the Prime Minster of Jamaica, wrote a superb history of West Indian cricket. Did he know nothing? Howard knows the game and might know something about administration too. Except that he has left politics, he has much in common with Pawar.

Nor is democracy relevant. If the ICC had decided to choose its presidents by simple vote, then they could elect anyone they liked — Howard, Pinocchio, anyone. Instead, the board decided to avoid confrontation by taking it in turns. It was agreed that nominations would be rubber-stamped by the rest.

After a rigorous process, Australia and New Zealand named Howard as their man.

The reasons for objecting to him are a sham. It has nothing to do with politics, or past statements or Iraq. It’s about oversight. Zimbabwe, especially, is alarmed at the prospect of having an influential, well-informed man with a beady eye at the helm.

In any case, the presidency has hardly been reserved for Plato, Tagore and Mother Teresa. Among previous occupants, Percy Sonn oversaw the rigged election in Zimbabwe in 2002 and pronounced it free and fair. Now local newspapers are demanding the release of a report into those elections made by South African generals. Of course, the ANC is resisting. They know the contents. So did Sonn.

Ray Mali, his successor, was named at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a collaborator and was also arrested for dubious dealings in the 1980s. He was accepted. Perhaps that was right. A French thinker once observed that “even the best among us, were every deed to emerge, could not escape hanging 10 times over”.

The ICC is the issue. Howard was a provocative nomination, but he was legitimate and, by rejecting him, the majority displayed scorn for due process. It is not a governing body but an unscrupulous mob.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.