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Since 1st March, 1999
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Can’t decide cricket big boss' Toss and tell
- Committee gives Pawar and Morgan option with the coin to settle ICC chief question
Sharad Pawar
David Morgan

June 20: Rahul Dravid and Michael Vaughan will soon be going for the toss at Lord’s.

However, they could be beaten to it by the respective heads of their boards — Sharad Pawar and David Morgan — who’re aspiring to lead the International Cricket Council (ICC).

That, too, as early as next week.

It may not get to such a farcical stage, but the governance review committee has given them that option if they’re unable to reach a “gentleman’s agreement” on who should head the world body first!

The toss is an integral part of the game, but one can’t recall any cricket body chief having had to take that route.

It’s okay for trophies to be decided in such a manner, but…

In the opinion of the four-member committee headed by Cricket Australia’s Creagh ’Connor, though, that’s “one way forward” and is among the recommendations sent to the ICC’s executive board.

A stalemate exists as neither candidate has the support of at least seven of the 10 full (Test-playing) members.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India president, Pawar, is one short of that figure. Morgan, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, needs three more votes.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe are backing Pawar. Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies are supporting Morgan.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the committee (which met in Cape Town on June 1) recommended that Pawar and Morgan break the deadlock by reaching an agreement whereby one becomes president from 2008 to 2010 and the other from 2010 to 2012.

If an understanding can’t be reached, then the committee has given the option of a toss.

It’s a formality, but the recommendations have to be approved by the board, which meets in London next week.

Both Pawar and Morgan are on the board and are bound to have a one-on-one before the formal deliberations get under way.

The stalemate came to the fore earlier this year when neither could get himself elected as vice-president. The absence of a No.2 led to a crisis when president Percy Sonn died last month.

An interim arrangement has been put in place, with Ray Mali (like Sonn, a South African) the acting president till next June.

“Right now, we’re flexible… Let’s see what Morgan has to say… In the past, England and Australia have always extracted a price for unanimity… We may also ask for something if Morgan wants to succeed Mali,” a Pawar-backer said tonight.

Apparently, there could be a call for the next chief executive to be from Asia or Africa.

Malcolm Speed, who has been in the seat for years, is an Australian --- like predecessor David Richards. His contract, one learns, is till mid-2008.

The Twenty20 World Championship’s second edition is in England in 2009 and the next World Cup (2011) is going to be in the subcontinent.

So, Pawar may agree to Morgan getting chance No.1 as he will then be the president when the World Cup returns to our region.

That, perhaps, is what’s meant by being “flexible.”

To Jagmohan Dalmiya (1997-2000), incidentally, goes the honour of being the first Asian to head the ICC.

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