John Howard defiant over ICC snub
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard will not withdraw as Australia and New Zealand's nomination for the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Howard said he had been given no indication why African and Asian blocs within the ICC dismissed his candidacy for president after yesterday's executive meeting in Singapore.
"Even in private discussions they are very reluctant to give a reason," he told Sky News today.
Howard said he was disappointed with the outcome and doubly so because there had been no reason for his rejection cited.
"I wanted to do this job, I wanted to do it well and I would have devoted my full time to it," Howard said.
Howard conceded the rebuff could be because of political decisions he had made in the past, including his treatment of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
"All I can say in relation to Robert Mugabe is that if that is the reason I wear the negative attitude as a badge of honour because I don't apologise in any way for the criticism I offer of the Mugabe regime," he said.
"If it was in some way based on past political reasons then that is a very bad precedent to be establishing for the ICC because there are serving politicians holding positions of authority within the ICC.
"I'm not criticising that but I'm just drawing attention to it."
The ICC has invited Australia and New Zealand to nominate a new candidate by the end of August.
Howard said the ICC rejection was a great personal disappointment for someone who was out of politics and had no international political agenda.
But he said he was invited to take on the nomination and would not withdraw.
"I won't be withdrawing," he said.
The decision on the next move was up to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket, Howard said.
Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke has said the move had gutted the cricketing body and was in the grand final of ICC insults towards Australia.
Australia and New Zealand had jointly nominated Howard for the ICC vice-presidency, a candidacy normally rubber stamped by cricket's governing body.
Under ICC rules, the vice-president becomes president after two years.