Bid to widen ambit of ICC boss poll
A concerted effort is on within the International Cricket Council (ICC) to include all 104 member-nations to elect its “independent” chairman. The governing body’s all-powerful board is considering the issue but whether it will come into effect while naming Shashank Manohar’s successor is still unclear.
According to ICC’s memorandum and articles of association, “the board of directors shall elect the chairperson in accordance with a process that is agreed by the board of directors and a secret ballot overseen and adjudicated by an appropriate independent third party duly appointed by the board of directors.”
The board of directors comprises the chairman (Manohar), the chief executive (Manu Sawhney), 12 Test playing full members, three associate members (Malaysia, Scotland and Singapore) and the independent director (Indra Nooyi).
The chief executive is an ex-officio member and does not have voting rights.
According to the proposal mooted by several associate members, the candidates for the chairman’s post can be from within the board of directors but his selection should involve all 104 member-countries.
“This proposal was discussed during the 2019 annual conference. If implemented, it will mean more power and voting rights to all member-nations,” a source told The Telegraph.
The ICC is yet to come out with the nomination and electoral process for its next chairman. Manohar, despite being eligible for another two years, has decided against seeking a third term. An announcement is expected shortly.
That hasn’t stopped behind-the-scenes activities and hectic lobbying in certain quarters. While England and Wales Cricket Board’s outgoing chairman Colin Graves, who enjoys the backing of both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia, is being considered as the favourite, not all among the nine remaining countries favour his candidature.
“If BCCI president Sourav Ganguly offers himself as a candidate, he could be an unanimous choice but Graves won’t be accepted that way. A lot depends on what Manohar does,” the source said.
Interestingly, former president of the Singapore Cricket Association Imran Khawaja’s name has been doing the rounds. Khawaja is considered to be close to Manohar and, if elected, will be the first to come from an associate nation.
Till not long ago, Pakistan Cricket Board’s chairman Ehs an Mani’s name had been discussed but he has withdrawn himself from the race.
Khawaja, the ICC’s deputy chairman, is also the chairman of the ICC’s associate member committee and is believed to have persuaded Manohar to complete his second term in office.
“There is a growing fear among the associate members that the Big Three model by virtue of which India, England and Australia share bulk of the revenue will be back in place after Manohar’s tenure. The outgoing chairman ensured that all members got an even distribution of revenue.
“Most cricket associations are in dire straits following the pandemic. We want to be financially secure even after Manohar’s exit. There should also be some continuity ,” the source said.