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NZ Cricket disappointed by ICC choice -

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ELEANOR HALL: The head of New Zealand Cricket says he is disappointed that the former Australian
prime minister John Howard is to be the new vice president of the International Cricket Council.

But Alan Isaac rejects allegations that bullying took place during the decision making process.

The news of Mr Howard's appointment was greeted with some surprise in cricketing circles, the other
candidate was New Zealand's Sir John Anderson, who was highly regarded for his years in cricket
administration as Sarah Dingle reports.

SARAH DINGLE: When it comes to cricket, former prime minister John Howard says his bowling
technique could use some work.

Regardless he's become the next candidate for the vice-presidency of the International Cricket
Council edging out New Zealand's Sir John Anderson.

The chairman of New Zealand cricket, Alan Isaacs, says the decision was a blow.

ALAN ISAACS: We're obviously disappointed. I've worked alongside Sir John on the board of New
Zealand Cricket and in other roles, so I am well aware of his abilities and I know a number of your
cricket leaders have spoken to me and to Rod Eddington and said that he would make a superb

Not only has he spent 13 years around the ICC table, he was one of the key people that was
instrumental in taking ICC from effectively a secretariat to the body that it is today.

SARAH DINGLE: The nominee had to come from Australasia, and the nominations committee comprised two
New Zealanders and two Australians with the votes deadlocked for weeks.

Australian businessman Sir Rod Eddington was brought in to make the final choice.

Alan Isaacs says one factor in John Howard's favour was that after relinquishing the prime
ministership, Mr Howard now has a lot of free time.

ALAN ISAACS: The realities are that both Australian and New Zealand are physically a long way away
from Dubai where the headquarters are. So the person in the role is going to have to travel a lot
and be available.

And for John Anderson, because of his background and experience, does have a number of other roles
and Rod Eddington just felt that John Howard being more available was important and placed weight
on his political experience and perhaps there's some shuttle diplomacy background and skills.

The reaction from some of the media and some of the commentators here has been to the effect that
we've been bullied by the Australians, which obviously is not the case. You know, at the end of the
day, the independent person was the person that facilitated us making the decision and I don't
think it's fair to lay that sort of criticism out.

SARAH DINGLE: Alan Isaacs says his organisation agreed to abide by Sir Eddington's choice and there
were no deals done between Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to reach a decision.

MIKE COWARD: There's an element of surprise to it. There's no doubt about that.

SARAH DINGLE: Mike Coward is a cricket columnist for The Australian newspaper.

MIKE COWARD: I would have thought that because of his history and that Sir John might have been
ahead. I think the thing that would concern a lot of cricket devotees is the fact that it took so
long to resolve.

It was deadlocked for so long, clearly it was quite a divisive issue and I think that probably
suggests a little discomfort.

SARAH DINGLE: In cricket, world power rests in the Subcontinent.

John Howard told the ABC's AM program that he welcomes India's contribution to the game

JOHN HOWARD: I see India as a positive contribution to world cricket, not only with the wonderful
players that it's given but also with such a large population the fact that so many people love and
play cricket is to me a positive. How can it be anything else to a cricket lover.

SARAH DINGLE: Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has already warned John Howard that he
faces a tough task in winning over the region.

Mr Coward says John Howard's experience in 'shuttle diplomacy' could be a boon for the
international game but his record may prove an obstacle.

MIKE COWARD: Throughout his prime ministership he wasn't particularly enamoured of the
Subcontinent. I think Paul Keating made a very, very strong move when he was Australian prime
minister to embrace that part of the world.

Through John Howard's period certainly the relationship was not on the same level. And on that
level Muralitharan might be quite correct. But yes, I think there could be a little bit of residual
resentment there.

SARAH DINGLE: John Howard will take over as vice-president of the ICC on July the first. He'll
become ICC president in 2012.

ELEANOR HALL: Sarah Dingle reporting.