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Howard linked to top ICC job

MELBOURNE, January 22- Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard is in the running to take charge of international cricket, reports said on Friday.The Melbourne Age newspaper said Howard was a candidate to be president of the International Cricket Council, but Cricket Australia would not confirm whether it had nominated him for the position.

"We have not discussed, neither have we confirmed nor denied, any of the names that have been suggested to us (by the press)," a CA spokesman told AFP. "It’s a confidential process."

Howard, 70, who is a self-confessed ‘cricket tragic,’ also had no comment.

"He does not want to say anything about the rumours," a spokesman for the former prime minister said.

The governing cricket bodies in Australia and New Zealand will next month propose an Australasian candidate to take the leadership of the ICC from 2012.

The CA spokesman said the ICC presidency, which works on a two-year rotational basis, was a "difficult and complex role" which involved juggling the political and cultural considerations of 10 diverse cricketing nations.

England currently occupy the role as ICC president with David Morgan in the job.

They hand over the mantle to India in mid-2010, when Australasia’s candidate would assume the deputy presidency ahead of assuming full leadership in mid-2012, the spokesman said.

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Since his defeat at 2007 elections, Howard’s only official position has been as director of the Bradman Foundation, his office said.

The Bradman Foundation owns and operates the Bradman Museum of Cricket and manages Bradman Oval in Bowral, southern New South Wales state, where the Australian cricket icon Don Bradman first learned to play the game.

Howard was in the running last October for a senior position with Australia’s National Rugby League.

Howard has been a regular cricket watcher at Australian Test matches both here and overseas.

He was prime minister from March 1996 to December 2007 and was the second-longest serving Australian leader after Sir Robert Menzies

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