WADA chief Fahey backs Howard for ICC presidency

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Melbourne, Feb 9(ANI): Two of the world's top sports administrators are supporting former Australian Prime Minister John Howard as a candidate for the presidency of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey, a former New South Wales premier and Finance Minister in the Howard Government who copped international criticism over his appointment, said Howard was more than qualified for the job.

"Running a country is eminently more difficult than running a sport. As a sporting nut, I don't even come within a bull's roar of having the knowledge Howard has of cricket," The Australian quoted Fahey, as saying.

"People say he's a cricket tragic. He is a devotee of cricket, a dyed-in-the-wool fan," he added.

He also said that it was "rubbish" to write off politicians as sports administrators.

"The attitude that people take is that because you're a politician you're limited to politics. That's absolute rubbish," Fahey said.

Fahey's predecessor at WADA, International Olympic Committee heavyweight Dick Pound, has also thrown his support behind Howard's candidature.

"I should think that someone who ran a national government for as long and successfully as John Howard did, should have all the tools necessary to run something like the ICC," Pound said.

"It would not be necessary to have been a top player -- they would not be hiring him to play, but to organise, administer and move the sport forward," he added.

Howard is Cricket Australia's (CA) preferred candidate for the position, but CA and New Zealand Cricket are at loggerheads over who will represent the Antipodes when the ICC's vice-presidency becomes available this year.

The ICC is awaiting Australia and New Zealand to agree on their candidate, as New Zealand wants its former chairman Sir John Anderson to be appointed as vice-president when India's Sharad Pawar assumes the top job.

Under the ICC rules, the antipodean vice-president would be elevated to the presidency when Pawar's term expires in 2012. (ANI)

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