New Delhi: A Pakistani financial czar, whose business acumen helped fill the coffers of the International Cricket Council (ICC), was on Wednesday picked to head the sport's world governing body.
Ehsan Mani, a London-based chartered accountant, will take over as ICC president from Malcolm Gray of Australia next June for a two-year term, an ICC release said. In the run-up to the presidency, Mani will serve as ICC's vice-president for a year during which the Limited Overs World Cup will be held in South Africa in February- March, 2003. "I was honoured on behalf of Pakistan cricket to be nominated for this prestigious position and delighted to be formally installed as Malcolm Gray's successor at last week's annual conference," Mani said in a statement. "I already enjoy a close working relationship with Malcolm, fellow directors and chief executive officer Malcolm Speed and look forward to the next 12 months and the build-up to my own term in office." Mani, who has represented Pakistan in the ICC since 1989, was also a member of the organising committee for the 1996 World Cup in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka and has served on the Asian Cricket Council. His financial expertise was used to good effect when playing a major role in the sale of ICC media rights in 2000 - negotiations which achieved a guaranteed income of $ 550 million for international cricket till 2007. Mani's appointment comes at a time when Pakistani cricket is facing a crisis over a succession of cancelled tours due to security reasons. While India and the West Indies have declined to tour Pakistan in the last one year, Australia's tour later this year hangs in the balance. With the Australians almost certain to cancel the tour, the Pakistan Cricket Board is negotiating with neutral venues like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to host the three- Test series in October. Mani will be the second person from Asia after Jagmohan Dalmiya of India to head cricket's governing body. Dalmiya's three-year term ended last year.
Thatscricket Special: World Cup 2003