Sydney, Jul 2 (ANI): New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has labeled the ICC's snub of former Australian premier John Howard as a "shocking decision" and urged him to stand his ground.
Howard's bid for the ICC presidency was rejected at the executive board meeting in Singapore this week, when six of the 10 Test-playing nations reportedly signed a letter opposing it.
"I think it's a shocking decision. I saw John on TV saying he's going to hold his ground and I think he should. He really could do the job and he could eat it up for breakfast," Radio Sport quoted Key, as saying.
Howard refused to withdraw his nomination, with the ICC giving Australia and New Zealand until August 31 to submit a new candidate for the vice-presidency, who will automatically become president after two years.
"He (Howard) would be fantastic. I know John well, I met him on numerous occasions when I was leader of the opposition and as Prime Minister," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Key, as saying.
"I think he's been a tremendous leader of Australia, a great politician. He's a great administrator and he loves his cricket ... even if he can't bowl very well from what I've seen on TV," Key said.
The ICC's rejection of Howard opens the way for New Zealand Cricket's former chairman Sir John Anderson who lost out to Howard as the region's nominee on the ruling of an Australian-chaired subcommittee.
But NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan has raised doubts as to whether the highly respected Anderson would be interested. (ANI)