John Howard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, was effectively and contentiously elected yesterday to a job which might demand much more compromise, concession and downright deviousness. In 2012, assuming convention is observed, he will become president of the International Cricket Council.
To govern the disparate countries which make up world cricket, he will need all the powers which helped him as an astute leader of Australia for almost 12 years. If all goes to plan, Howard will serve as ICC vice-president for two years from this June to Sharad Pawar, the Indian who is an equally illustrious politician in his homeland having served as Minister of Agriculture for six years.
Howard was nominated jointly by the cricket boards of Australia and New Zealand after strong competition from New Zealand's Sir John Anderson, who was felt by many to have greater experience of cricket administration.