The ICC on Monday set October 18 as the deadline for its Board of Directors to propose candidates for the chairman's post to succeed Shashank Manohar, ending a nearly three-month-long impasse on the nomination process. The process will be overseen by an independent chairman of the ICC Audit Committee. However, the global body has not specified the voting procedure in case there are multiple candidates. If elections happen as per existing rules, a candidate would require two thirds of the 17 ICC Board member votes, which roughly comes to 11 or 12.
However, there are a few member nations, who want a simple majority vote where nine would be enough to win an election. That is precisely the reason, ICC stated that the next chairman might assume office only from the month of December. "The process, which is being overseen by the Independent Chairman of the ICC Audit Committee, has commenced and the first stage is for the nominations of potential candidates to be made by current Board Directors by 18 October 2020," ICC stated in a release.
Manohar's deputy Imran Khawaja is currently the acting chairman after the Indian stepped down in July. "...the process for the election of its next Chairperson is underway and is expected to be concluded by early December," the ICC stated.
The process of nomination, however, remains the same where a current Board of Director nominates a candidate, who needs to be seconded by another director. "As outlined in the ICC Constitution, to be eligible, potential candidates must be either a current or former ICC Director," the release concluded.
A senior official privy to developments in the ICC Board room said that the month and half gap between nomination and election has been bought in order to work out a consensus if possible. "You have to understand that the main reason for the delay is not being able to work out a consensus candidate. Otherwise, you won't take five months since Shashank stepped down in July 1 and the next chairman will effectively take charge in December.
"At least two powerful boards want simple majority while one board with a former ICC honcho is swimming in opposite direction," the senior official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"What you read in the ICC media release is nomination process which has been same for years now. All you need is to be a present or former Director of ICC. But what about voting process?" he asked.
As far as potential candidates are concerned, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had in an earlier interview to a TV channel indicated that at 48, he has years ahead in cricket administration and wouldn't mind waiting for his turn while concentrating on his own cricket board's functioning. PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, who was on ICC hot-seat during earlier years, has made it clear that his country's Prime Minister Imran Khan wants him to continue in his own cricket board.
England and Wales Cricket Board's former chairman Colin Graves was at one point the runaway favourite to replace Manohar with the backing of BCCI but things have changed since then. Current acting chairman Khawaja, in case of an election, will certainly find it difficult to win by two-third majority.
With multiple candidates like former Cricket South Africa boss Chris Nenzani and Cricket West Indies' ex-chief Dave Cameron also harbouring ambitions for the top job, the ICC Board of Directors will be navigating through choppy waters to decide on a process to select the next chief policy-maker of the global body.