Asian bloc backs India’s Pawar for ICC leadership

NEW DELHI, India, Dec 20, 2006 (AFP) – The powerful Asian bloc in world cricket will nominate Sharad Pawar of India for the presidency of the sport’s governing body, a top official said on Wednesday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will vote on a successor to current chief Percy Sonn of South Africa for a two-year period from 2008 at its annual meeting in July next year.

English cricket chief David Morgan has reportedly thrown his hat in the ring following backing from Australia and New Zealand, but the Asian bloc also wants to put up a candidate.

“It has been decided that Sharad Pawar will be our candidate,” said Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah.

“Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in favour of Mr. Pawar and we hope to elicit the support of the West Indies too.”
Nominations for the elections will close on January 1, 2007 at the ICC’s world headquarters in Dubai.

The decision to support Pawar was taken at a meeting of officials from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in New Delhi last week to finalise plans for the 2011 World Cup, which the four countries will be co-hosting.

Pawar, 66, a powerful Indian politician who is also the fed