'Hawk' Howard now turns 'dove' over cricket powerhouse India

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Sydney, July 4(ANI): Described across the Indian subcontinent as a hawk unsuited for the International Cricket Council (ICC) vice presidency, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has made his first attempt at playing a dove.

Howard failed in his bid to become the Vice-President following a 'widespread opposition' believed to have been led by India, but he is trying to strike a note of warmth towards the perceived enemy.

"There is one part of the world where a sport at the present time remains transcendent over soccer and that is the Indian subcontinent," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Howard, as saying.

"The fanaticism for cricket among the 1.5 billion people in the entire region ... is unbelievable and we've got to see that in a positive light," he added.

Responding to the notion that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Shashank Manohar had swung the tide of global support against him, Howard said: "We have to be careful of making India some kind of target of disdain in world cricket."

"I think it is very important we understand there's got to be a fair sharing of responsibilities and no one part of the world, no one country, should dominate. People in the past criticized the fact it was dominated by England and Australia and now we don't want to replace one perceived domination with another."

"That in a way is why the ICC put in place this rotation system and that's one of the issues CA have got to take into account when it responds to what has happened," he added.

He further said that both Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) should now think about the "future of the game" and re-nominate a candidate for the post.

"I'd like the job, but at this stage it's hit a roadblock, and what happens from now on is really CA's call, it's not about me, it's about the future of the game," Howard said.

"I went into this because I love cricket very much and I had the time to devote to it and the energy and the commitment, but what happens from now on CA and New Zealand Cricket have been asked to re-nominate and they obviously separately and together will meet and talk about the situation."

"They've got to pay regard to what's happened, given that we had apparently put in place a procedure for choosing by rotation the president and vice president of the ICC, and that appears to have been pushed to one side in the last week, but equally they've got to look at the future of the game," he added.

Australia and New Zealand have until the end of August to submit another nomination to the ICC.

Earlier, it was said that CA and NZC might name former Australian captain Mark Taylor as an alternative candidate to Howard.

A member of the ICC's cricket committee and CA's board, Taylor is considered an engaging personality by his backers, and carries none of the political baggage that counted so heavily against Howard. (ANI)

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