| Ali Bacher
Calcutta: Former United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) chief Krish Mackerdhuj could emerge the dark horse ahead of the Proteas’ nominating the next International Cricket Council (ICC) president.
As reported in these columns last Friday, Ehsan Mani’s successor will (in an absolute first) be from South Africa. Mani has only just taken over and will have a two-year term.
Logically, the frontrunner ought to be Dr Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 World Cup and a former UCBSA managing director, but there are ‘complications’.
Perhaps, it has something to do with the ego of individuals, but a couple of South Africa’s key backers — including India, one believes — appear to have reservations over Dr Bacher being the nominee.
Eventually, the UCBSA alone will take a decision but, given that there are alignments within the ICC, it may not brush aside the ‘sentiments’ of influential supporters.
For his part, Dr Bacher is firm about not “lobbying” in any manner.
“You certainly won’t find me lobbying… However, if the UCBSA sees a role for me beyond June 30 (when the World Cup directorate will cease to exist), then I’ll consider the offer,” Dr Bacher told The Telegraph Monday evening, when contacted in Johannesburg.
He added, emotionally: “Cricket has been my life and it’s been so good to me… But, today, I can’t say what the future holds. Indeed, that isn’t in my hands…”
Obviously keen to avoid a controversy, Dr Bacher insisted he wasn’t aware of there being reservations over him in some quarters. “No, I don’t know,” he said.
South Africa’s key backers, one understands, have ‘suggested’ that UCBSA president Percy Sonn be the nominee. Only, given his disgraceful (drunken) conduct during the World Cup — actually, in Paarl, after the India-Holland game — it’s debatable how others within the ICC will react to such a development.
Assuming that (a) the Sonn-specific ‘feedback’ isn’t encouraging and (b) the reservations over Dr Bacher, the UCBSA could look towards Mackerdhuj, who was its chief till appointed ambassador to Japan. In time, then, he may become the dark horse.
“The earliest that we can decide our nominee is August 30-31, during the AGM,” informed UCBSA managing director Gerald Majola, speaking exclusively, also Monday evening. That AGM, therefore, should be keenly followed.
The nominee, according to protocol, will be designated ICC vice-president during next year’s annual conference. He will, of course, succeed Mani in the summer of 2005.