Sydney, July 11(ANI): Former Australian rugby league halfback Steve Mortimer has nominated former Prime Minister John Howard for preselection as the inaugural leader of rugby league's independent commission.
Howard had previously been mentioned as a candidate for league's top job, but he was nominated by Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket as their choice for the post of International Cricket Council Vice President.
Mortimer urged the architects of the independent commission to seize the opportunity to invite Howard to head the job of overseeing the restructure of rugby league from November, when News Ltd is due to relinquish its 50 per cent ownership of the code.
"This isn't about Labor or Liberal, and for what it is worth I have good friends on both sides of the political divide. It is about getting the right person to head the independent commission, and I really believe that is John Howard," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mortimer, as saying.
"If cricket don't want him, rugby league should treat it as their gain. I recommend we start talking to him immediately because he has a lot to offer our game. He is a genuine rugby league man."
"He is someone who has served the country very well but his profile [as a former world leader] would do so much for rugby league," he added.
Earlier, Howard's candidacy for ICC vice president's post was rejected after its executive meeting in Singapore.
"The nomination did not have sufficient support within the ICC Boar," ICC had said in a statement.
Howard required the support of at least seven of the 10 Test-playing countries to earn the job, but seven rejected his candidacy.
The ICC has invited Australia and New Zealand to nominate a new candidate by the end of August. (ANI)