Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has opted out of the race for the International Cricket Council Independent Chair. But he is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that favourites Colin Graves and Sourav Ganguly don’t get elected to the elite office of cricket governance.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Graves is the frontrunner to replace Shashank Manohar as the ICC chief. Board of Control for Cricket in India president Ganguly though has not cleared his intent to contest for the top ICC post, he has been getting good vocal support.
Mani had turned down the suggestion to return to the ICC office. But he is not comfortable with the election of an ECB, BCCI or Cricket Australia administrator to the ICC Chairman’s post.
India, England and Australia are called the “Big Three” in the balance of power in global cricket. Mani has made an attempt to mobilise various cricket boards to keep the Big Three out of the ICC power game.
Mani believes the new ICC chairman should not come from any of the “Big Three” boards. The ICC chief’s position is lying vacant since Manohar has stepped down in July this year. Imran Khwaja is serving as the interim chairman.
“It’s unfortunate it (the Chair election) has taken so long,” Mani told Forbes. “The politics introduced by Australia, England and India in 2014 to protect their positions – now they are struggling to unwind it because it doesn’t suit them anymore. It would be healthier to have someone not from the ‘big three’.”
If Mani succeeds in lobbying, Graves or Ganguly might find it tough in numbers’ game.
New Zealand Cricket chairman Greg Barclay and former Cricket West Indies head Dave Cameron have also expressed intention to contest for the ICC Chair.