Sydney, Jan.22 (ANI): Cricket Australia's decision to nominate former Prime MInister John Howard as its candidate for the top job at the International Cricket Council is as pitiful as it is disrespectful, believes noted columnist Peter Roebuck.
"Howard's knowledge of cricket is more characterised by enthusiasm than depth or imagination. Plain and simple, he is not qualified for the job. Moreover, the way in which he has been plucked from the sidelines shows CA in the worst possible light," claims Roebuck in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Rather than recommending a retired politician, no matter how eminent, CA ought to be getting behind the splendid candidate suggested by its counterpart across the Tasman. Instead it stands accused on intransigence," he adds.
For several months Australia and New Zealand have been at loggerheads over the appointment of the next deputy chairman of the ICC.
Under the protocol adopted by all nations a few years ago, it is this region's turn to choose the next senior man and the two nations were expected to produce a single candidate by the end of last year.
Instead they kept arguing and were obliged to ask the ICC to extend the deadline by two months.
It is an important appointment because the occupant will take the top chair when Sharad Pawar's term finishes in 2012.
Pawar takes over from David Morgan in July.
Although the ICC lacks the power assigned to other governing bodies, it presides over the game's operations in countries ranging from England to India, Papua New Guinea to Chile, and many stops between.
It is responsible for the development of the game and striking the right balance between traditional and contemporary formats.
For all its faults, the ICC remains the powerhouse of an ever-expanding game.oebuck feels Australia's position has been indefensible.
"Unable to produce a serious candidate of its own, CA ought to have gracefully withdrawn. Its reluctance to back Jack Clarke, its own chairman, tells the tale.
Roebuck says ex-captain Mark Taylor would be a good choice, as he counts among the most highly regarded of the game's thinkers.
If he does not make the grade, then, Australia should accept New Zealand's long-standing and impressive candidate, Sir John Anderson.
ICC sources confirm that he is respected as a straight talker blessed with leadership.
New Zealand is entitled to be upset about Australia's churlish attempt to block its candidate. (ANI)