Darjeeling: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has proposed that South Africa’s Ray Mali be appointed the acting president of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The acting president enjoys the same powers as the president.
The ICC is without its top functionary following Percy Sonn’s death. Thanks to a stalemate earlier this year, there’s no vice-president either.
“Sonn was nominated by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to succeed Ehsan Mani and it’s only proper that another South African fills in till a successor is elected... We’ve proposed Mali,” former BCCI president Inderjit Singh Bindra told The Telegraph.
Bindra, who is the alternate for president Sharad Pawar on the ICC’s executive board, added: “New Zealand’s position is the same... In fact, the New Zealand Cricket chairman (Sir John Anderson) has conveyed that to the ICC...”
It’s rare for India and New Zealand to be on the same wavelength within the ICC. But, then, that’s another story.
There’s no guarantee, however, that the CSA will be asked to nominate the acting president. As an ICC official (who didn’t wish to be identified) explained on Friday evening: “Once somebody sits in the president’s chair, he ceases to represent his country... From then on, he’s not seen as having a particular nationality.”
Mali, a businessman, heads the CSA.
Right now, it’s not even clear who is going to chair the executive board meetings during the ICC’s Annual Conference Week — June 24-29.
Senior-most director Sir John could be given that responsibility. Equally, the executive board may invite Mani to take the chair he occupied for three years.
Sonn was elected for a two-year term in 2006 and got a one-year extension after the stalemate over the vice-presidency.
There’s also uncertainty over the tenure of whoever becomes the acting president. As has been reported, the all-powerful executive board will take that decision.
Where the BCCI’s Pawar is concerned, he’s fine-tuning strategy — support for Mali is surely part of it — for becoming the ICC’s full-time president.
England’s David Morgan nurses the same ambition, though.