From Donald Duff in Barbados
Pakistan cricket icon and former test captain Zaheer Abbas was, as widely expected, yesterday afternoon confirmed in the post of president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), following a meeting of the ICC Board here in Barbados.
The meeting, at which Serbia’s request for membership of the ICC was also granted, was held in the Peninsula Suite of the Hilton Hotel here.
“I feel truly honoured and humbled to be appointed as the president of the governing body of our great game, Abbas said in his acceptance speech.
“This is the sport which has given us friendship, respect, recognition and an opportunity to serve our countries in different capacities. Personally speaking, it has given me more than I can ever possibly repay,” he added.
The post of president of the ICC is considered a symbolic one usually to be held by a former cricketer of repute and Abbas fills that bill admirably.
He played 78 test matches for Pakistan, leading the team in 14 of those matches and scored 5062 test runs.
In ODIs, he led Pakistan on 13 of the 62 occasions he represented his country and scored 2572 runs.
He is widely revered in Pakistan for his exploits one of which is being the first batsman from Asia to score a 100 first class centuries.
“I am thankful to all of you for the support and confidence placed in me by confirming my nomination. I am also grateful to the PCB for proposing my candidacy as the ICC President. I assure you all that I will stand shoulder to shoulder with all the ICC Members as we continue to strive to inspire more and more people to fall in love with the game we cherish, he added.”
More than 50 high ranking officials from cricket countries around the world are participating in this historic first annual conference to be held in the Caribbean and one such official is ICC Chairman N.Srinivasan.
“Zaheer’s outstanding career as a stylish right-handed batsman is reflected in his remarkable record with 108 first-class hundreds and more than 7,500 international runs,” Srinivasan said of Abbas’s appointment.
“Zaheer is clearly an iconic cricketer who always played the game with skill, flair and in the true spirit. He is a worthy ambassador of our great game,” he added.
The 67-year-old Abbas was also a member of the Pakistan team to the 1975, 1979 and 1983 World Cup competitions.
He also served as an ICC match referee.
Meanwhile, the ICC Council gave approval for the Serbia Cricket Federation (SCF) to become the 58th Affiliate Member of the ICC but the Council decided to suspend the Affiliate Memberships of Morocco and Turkey and removed Brunei completely from being an Affiliate Member.
The ICC President’s role is rotated annually and the West Indies will hold the presidency in the year 2018-19.
The Full Council includes 37 Associate Members, five Affiliate Member representatives and 10 Full Members and while the ICC Chairman and ICC Chief Executive are part of the Full Council they do not have voting rights.
Today the Financial and Commercial Affairs meeting will take place from 9am-12-30pm in the Peninsula Room and that meeting will be followed by the ICC Board meeting in the same room from 1.30pm-530pm.
The conference ends tomorrow when there will be a press conference to deal with all the issues that have been deliberated on so far.
The press conference is scheduled for 1.30pm.