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No division in ICC over Howard: Pawar

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who took over as International Cricket Council president today, has insisted that the rejection of former Australian prime minister John Howard's nomination for the vice president's post will not create a divide in the sport's governing body.

cricket Updated: Jul 01, 2010 21:15 IST

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who took over as International Cricket Council (ICC) president on Thursday, has insisted that the rejection of former Australian prime minister John Howard's nomination for the vice president's post will not create a divide in the sport's governing body.

Howard's rejection has left Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), which floated Howard's nomination seething in anger, as the strong Afro-Asian block, including the Indian cricket board, opposed the candidature at the ICC executive board meeting on Wednesday.

"No, I don't think so at all (that there will be a divide). We have discussed the matter individually and collectively with everybody including Australia, England and New Zealand also. We took a collective decision," Pawar, who took over from David Morgan on Thursday, said in an interview to a news channel.

"I'm not worried because it's a democratic organisation. According to the ICC constitution if any four members oppose to a proposal that cannot be passed. That's why we have requested Australia and New Zealand to give a second thought and come out with a new proposal."

Pawar, 69, said as ICC president, his job would be to introduce more countries to cricket, besides preserving all the three formats of the game.

"My efforts will be to expand the base of cricket to other countries. Today there are 105 countries who are the members of the ICC. But in the true sense, unless we expand the game to China, the USA, some parts of Eastern Europe and some parts of Africa, the game would not reach every corner of the world.

"There is also a lot of debate about the format. There are three formats and one person like me believes in Test matchs. There is also a sizable section who prefer One-Dayers and a section of the new fans feel for T20. I think all the formats have definite responses for different reasons. So we have to preserve all the forms."

On spreading T20 cricket across world, Pawar said: “It's not about T20. In the new area our efforts will be to encourage cricket. To set up cricket academies, to impart training and get the local people and fans involved in cricket."

Pawar assured he won't have any problem juggling his jobs as a minister minister and ICC president.

"Fortunately, the ICC HQ is in Dubai and Dubai works on Saturday and Sunday. So generally, I've to spend three to four days in a month on Sundays. So it's a matter of two-hour flight. So I think there won't be any difficulty.

"Secondly, I will discuss with the prime minister about my responsibilities and will take appropriate decisions so that my government work is not affected.

"I may suggest for more hands. I had asked for three ministers (of state) but they have given only one," Pawar said.