Indian cricket board chief Sharad Pawar will take over as the International Cricket Council (ICC) president in 2010 for a two-year term, the world body announced after its annual meeting in London on Friday.
Pawar, also India's agriculture minister, will succeed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Morgan, who will take over from present incumbent Ray Mali of South Africa next year.
Pawar, 66, will be the second Indian after Jagmohan Dalmiya to head ICC. Dalmiya was the president 1997-2000.
"I am grateful to the ICC members for having the confidence in me to take on the responsibility of high office within the ICC," Pawar was quoted as saying in an ICC statement in London.
Pawar's term will coincide with the 2011 World Cup, which will be held in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Morgan will become ICC president-elect with immediate effect and Pawar will become vice president. When Morgan assumes president's chair next year, Pawar will become president-elect as well as vice president, said ICC.
"Morgan will now be expected to relinquish his role within the ECB in keeping with the existing policy that the president and the person chosen to succeed him should not represent a member at the same time as holding those offices," said the ICC.
"Pawar will do likewise with his role within the BCCI in 12 months' time."
His term as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president ends in September next year.
The world body said that it has altered the process of electing future presidents with an improved rotation system previously employed.
The rotation will take place between six groups/regions: England/West Indies; India/Sri Lanka; Australia/New Zealand; Pakistan/Bangladesh; South Africa/Zimbabwe; and Associates/Affiliates-member countries.
It means that one of the two countries clubbed will have to agree to one man for the top post when their turns come as the post is allotted to countries and not to individuals.
ICC also announced that it has scrapped its nominations committee, headed by AC Muthiah, a former BCCI president, and that no extensions would be given to the presidents, who will have fixed two-year terms.
All parties involved in the process to elect the president, including the candidates for the top post, were relived at the outcome.
"I am particularly happy with the approach taken by the Governance Review Committee in looking to resolve the issue of the succession and I believe David Morgan and myself have readily accepted those proposals in a sporting manner," said Pawar.
Ray Mali said was also delighted. "We now have certainty in terms of who will head our game for the next five years and, building on the certainty we already have with our range of events," he said.
Morgan said: "My immediate priority over the next few weeks is to complete unfinished work with the ECB and also to discuss with the ECB an orderly and timely process for the election of my successor as chairman.
"Thereafter my priority will be to support current President Ray Mali for the remainder of his term in office."
Morgan also disclosed that it was Mali who had asked him to become a candidate for ICC president's post.
"I am hugely grateful to Ray because it was one year ago that, as president of Cricket South Africa, he made the first approach to me to become a candidate for the role of ICC president," he said.
"I have appreciated his support throughout this whole process and look forward to following him for the benefit of world cricket when the time comes."