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Oz PM backs Howard, Pawar hits back

cricket Updated: Jul 03, 2010 00:26 IST

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Divisions within the ICC deepened on Friday with Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand asking John Howard not to withdraw his candidacy for the vice-president's post even as new president Sharad Pawar hit back at his detractors saying the former Aussie PM did not have the numbers.

A day after the ICC conclave in Singapore, Howard got the backing of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who said he should give it another shot despite being rejected by the powerful Asian Bloc, raising speculation of a race divide.

Pawar, however, rubbished suggestions that rejection of Howard's candidacy would divide world cricket. "The majority did not support him. Ultimately in any democratic organisation, there has to be support from the majority but that was not there in his case," he told reporters. Meanwhile, former Aussie captain Steve Waugh said the rejecting Howard was a "real shame".