Zaheer Abbas tipped to be ICC President

Brendon McCullum

By Donald Duff in Barbados


Barring any last minute hiccups, former Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas is tipped to be installed as the new president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) when the body stages its annual conference at the Hilton Hotel here in Barbados.

That meeting is expected to take place today from 3pm to 4pm in Needham’s Room one and two of the hotel.

Prior to that, the ICC’s Board meeting will take place in the Peninsula Room from 2pm to 2.30pm where matters relating to the Annual General Meeting are expected to be discussed.

Zaheer Abbas
Zaheer Abbas

ICC’s Sami ul-Hasan yesterday said that Abbas was almost a shoo-in to be installed as he is the only nominee. Additionally, he said that it was Pakistan’s turn to hold the ICC post.

Abbas will replace Bangladesh Mustafa Kamal who quit the post following this year’s World Cup competition in Australia and New Zealand in somewhat controversial fashion.

Kamal quit the ICC post after he was denied the opportunity to present the World Cup Trophy to the winners Australia.

The Trophy was presented by Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Narayanaswami Srinivasan.

Kamal had previously criticized the umpiring after Bangladesh was defeated by India in a quarter-final match.

“The main reason for my resignation is that I can’t work with those who can act unconstitutionally and unlawfully,” he had said when announcing his resignation.

Initially Pakistan had nominated Annam Sethi. He was tipped to replace Kamal for one year commencing July 1 but Sethi later withdrew.

“Tomorrow we’ve got the Full Council meeting which is called the Annual Conference where the ICC president will be confirmed. As you know the Pakistan Cricket Board has nominated Zaheer Abbas and if the council approves then he will become the Full term ICC President.

According to ul-Hasan it was Pakistan’s turn to hold the position.

“It is the Pakistan Cricket Board’s turn. It is a one year term and tomorrow (today) he (Abbas) is likely to be confirmed,” he told Stabroek Sports yesterday.

Abbas played 78 test matches for Pakistan and scored 5062 runs, with 12 centuries at an average of 44.79. In ODIs he played 62 times, scored 2572 runs and averaged 47.62.

The post of ICC president is a ceremonial one and it is the general feeling that a former cricket great or icon should hold the post and perform what can largely be considered ambassadorial duties.

Ul-Hasan said there are also requests for membership of the body which will be addressed today.

“Then we have got the membership requests from a number of countries and the Full Council is going to review those requests and confirm.”

Meanwhile, Geoff Allardice the ICC’s General Manager of cricket said yesterday that changes to the rules of the one day game are up for discussion and possibly ratification.

“One of the recommendations that came out of the Cricket Committee’s recent meeting is to change the fielding restrictions of the one day game,” he told Stabroek Sport yesterday.

According to Allardice there have recently been a lot of high scoring matches and one of the changes is towards the end of the innings.

“There are three changes recommended the first is that the two compulsory catchers in the first 10 overs is no longer required; the second is that the batting power play is removed and the third is that for the last 10 overs of the innings, teams can now have five fielders outside of the circle,” explained Allardice.

Allardice said the recommended changes to the playing conditions for the one-day matches were based on a review of the World Cup competition.

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