Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar may have a two-year extension of the term as the independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), with all the member boards understood to have agreed upon his re-election.
Manohar's term ends in June and according to a report in the New Indian Express, the incumbent ICC chairman seems to have pulled ahead of the former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Giles Clarke.
According to the report, Clarke hasn't found the necessary support, with the current dispensation in the ECB under Colin Graves seemingly not too sympathetic towards Clarke's cause. What's worse, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA), which had earlier favoured Clarke, is understood to have backed away in the wake of the ECB's reluctance.
Graves, one is given to believe, is also interested in contesting for the ICC chairmanship, and that that could be the reason behind the hardness of his stand against Clarke.
A BCCI official said that Graves was guarded in his strategy. “He is holding his cards close to his chest. Until he arrives, we won’t know what’s in store. He is ambitious, but whether he can get enough support at this point in time remains to be seen. As things stand, Manohar is the unanimous choice,” the official told Express.
The Express had earlier reported that with Clarke interested in contesting for the post, Manohar was willing to make way. But given the new equation that has emerged, there has suddenly emerged an alignment in favour of Manohar, with even the BCCI – which had been rubbed the wrong way by Manohar when he cut its share of ICC profits – throwing its weight behind him.
And not only that, the BCCI is understood to have spoken to PCB chief Najam Sethi so that the unity of the Asian bloc is not harmed. This special initiative by the BCCI may be explained by the fear of losing a plum ICC position to the Western bloc if Clarke or Graves is elected, which then may be difficult to wrest back.
The ICC will be holding its quarterly board meeting this week in Kolkata, where it is planned to throw a party for Clarke in recognition for his work as the head of ICC's task force on Pakistan affairs.