The dust may be rising over Sharad Pawar’s alleged stages in IPL teams, but this will make no difference to him becoming president of the International Cricket Council. The union agriculture minister is set to take over the top job at the ICC from David Morgan at the end of this month when the ICC meets in Singapore from June 28 for its four-day annual conference.
At the moment there is no challenge to Pawar taking up his new role despite the controversy surrounding him. Pawar’s road to the ICC presidency was all but sealed in 2007 when he was named vice-president and as president-elect, no further vote is required before he succeeds the England & Wales Cricket Board’s Morgan.
The only way in which Pawar’s route to the top can be impeded is if one of the 11 ICC voting members raises a motion against the former BCCI chief. In the event of this happening, the group opposing Pawar’s candidacy will have to garner at least 7 of the 11 votes available to derail him.
Given the current electoral mathematics in world cricket, the only way this can happen is if India is at the centre of such an action.
The economic clout of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the special relationship it enjoys with several other boards ensures its virtually impossible to pass any motion without India’s support.
Despite relations between the BCCI top brass and Pawar being less than cosy at present, thanks mainly to the NCP supremo’s refusal to distance himself from suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi, there were no indications that a move to oppose Pawar was afoot.
“The question of the BCCI opposing Mr Pawar at the ICC meeting is a hypothetical one at best,” a top BCCI official told the Hindustan Times. “Controversies keep happening but as of now Mr Pawar has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing. With the World Cup coming to India early next year, it would be best if Mr Pawar is in charge.”
Only recently former Australian prime minister John Howard’s nomination to the ICC vice-presidency ran into a bit of trouble as Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka opposed his candidature. In the end, however, Howard was backed by the boards of India and England, apart from others, virtually guaranteeing his ride to the top.