Imran Khwaja was made interim chairman of the International Cricket Council on Wednesday until fresh elections for the post is held.
The decision was taken by the ICC Board on Wednesday after incumbent chairman Shashank Manohar of India stepped down from the post after completing his two terms.
Khwaja, who is a former president of the Singapore Cricket Association, was elected as ICC's deputy chairman in 2017, a year after Manohar became the global cricket body's inaugural independent chairman, said a ESPN.Cricinfo report
The deputy chairman's position was part of the new ICC constitution which came into effect from 2017. That constitution was drafted by a five-person working group which included Khwaja.
A lawyer by profession, Khwaja, 64, has been an ever-present but little-heard figure - publicly at least.
He remains, however, a powerful voice on the ICC Board and is part of a number of influential committees. Currently, the committees Khwaja sits on include the Finance & Commercial Affairs, Nominations, Development (chair) and Membership.
It was Khwaja who played a significant role in convincing Manohar to continue as ICC chairman in 2017 after the former BCCI president had opted to step down even before finishing a year in the post. Although he is the chairman of Associates, Khwaja has had a say in significant reforms the ICC carried out under Manohar's leadership, including the overhaul of the governance structure, the finance model and creating a democratic structure at the ICC board where even the smaller countries have had a say.
In the media release on Wednesday(June 1) the ICC said that the Board would finalise the nomination process to elect Manohar's full-time successor "within the next week".
Normally the new chair would have been installed at the ICC's annual conference, which this year is believed to have been postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although the annual general meeting will still take place virtually.
Khwaja, along with the outgoing ECB chairman Colin Grave, has been talked about as the frontrunner to replace Manohar on a full-time basis, although neither has made their desire to contest public.
Also in the reckoning could be BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who became eligible after he participated in his first ICC Board meeting this March. A fellow ICC Director said that Ganguly brought good cricketing arguments to the Board which has traditionally been populated by administrators who have not played the game.
The BCCI has been actively looking for support for Ganguly, although the former India captain has not made his intention known either in public or within BCCI circles.
Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, now director of cricket at Cricket South Africa, said global cricket needed a "strong leadership" which Ganguly was "best positioned" to provide.
Hours after Smith made his comments, CSA president Chris Nenzani said the South African board did not want to "anticipate any candidates to be nominated" until the process was finalised.
Over the last couple of months, a number of board heads have had their name attached to the chairmanship, though none have said anything of their intentions publicly and the process for how they are elected has not even been finalised.
The latest hat in the ring has been thrown by Dave Cameron, former president of Cricket West Indies (CWI). Cameron, who lost the CWI presidency to Ricky Skerritt in 2019, has been recommended by the United States Cricket Hall of Fame. Cameron has been lobbying for support in the Caribbean and has at least one backer in Conde Riley, the president of Barbados Cricket Association, who also sits on the CWI Board. Kishore Shallow, the CWI vice-president, said that he would not support Cameron, but said that was his personal decision, and a final decision would be taken by Skerritt.
The ICC last held elections for the chairman's position in 2016, when Manohar was elected through a secret ballot.
In 2018, Manohar retained his position for a second term having been elected unopposed as the sole candidate. To be eligible, the candidate needs to be either a present or past ICC Director - one who attends at least one ICC Board meeting - and has to be nominated by one current ICC Director. Nominees with the support of two or more Directors are eligible to contest an election
Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Opu and his parents have tested negative for coronavirus, he confirmed on Wednesday. Nazmul and his parents were diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-June.
“We provided sample the day before yesterday and got the results. All of us are now free from this deadly virus,” Nazmul told the media.
“I was depressed about it because I had no idea what to do or what to expect. So the joy of being free from this virus is immense. I just can’t express this in words,” he added.
Nazmul’s father has been suffering from heart-related diseases. It was the main concern for the family of Nazmul.
“My father has been suffering from heart diseases. So we are very worried about him. Please, keep us in your prayers,” Nazmul had earlier said.
Along with Nazmul, former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, and former Bangladesh opener Nafis Iqbal also tested positive. They are getting treatment at home. As per the latest update, both Mashrafe and Nafis are doing well.
Also read: I’m well but not tested negative: Mashrafe
Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza ruled out a rumour regarding being to be negative in coronavirus test. He confirmed that he is doing well but not tested negative yet.
Mashrafe is tested positive for coronavirus on June 20. Since then, he has been taking treatment at his home in Dhaka. His condition is well.
“A news is spread in some media and social networks that I’m tested negative for COVID-19. It’s not true at all. I’m not retested again. I hope to test against after 14 days,” Mashrafe wrote in his social media handle.
Also read: Mashrafe infected with coronavirus
“By the wish of Almighty and your prayers, I am well. I have been taking the necessary treatment at home. There are no health issues. I pray for me and for all those affected across the country. Everyone be careful and well. We will continue to fight together,” he added.
Along with Masrhafe, his younger brother Morsalin Bin Mortaza is also tested positive, and both of them are doing well as Morsalin told UNB on June 27.
Not just Mashrafe, Bangladesh cricket fraternity is also shocked as Tamim Iqbal’s elder brother and former Bangladesh opener Nafis Iqbal and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu is also affected by the novel coronavirus. However, all of them are doing well.
Former Bangladesh captain Masrhafe Bin Mortaza, who tested positive for coronavirus a week ago, is doing well and not suffering from any health complications, his family said.
Masrahfe’s test result came on June 20 and he has since been in isolation at his home.
The 36-year-old has asthma which was enough to make his family and fans scared. But after an X-ray at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), doctors said he is doing well.
After Masrhafe, his younger brother Morsalin Bin Mortaza also tested positive for coronavirus. While talking to UNB on Saturday, he said their condition is good.
“Bhaia (elder brother) is well. He’s not complaining about anything. We believe he’s recovering well. I’ve been feeling short of breath, but it’s manageable. Please keep us in your prayers so that we can recover fast,” Morsalin told UNB.
Not just Mashrafe’s family, but also the families of Nazmul Islam Apu and Nafis Iqbal had been exposed to the deadly virus which has infected 133,978 people and killed 1,695 in Bangladesh since March.
Also read: Mashrafe infected with coronavirus
Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque says mental fitness is also important for cricketers to stay strong during this coronavirus pandemic.
Like other cricketers, Mominul is also passing time at home. He has been working on his fitness since cricket matches have been on hold after March this year.
In a recent interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Mominul said that along with fitness training to keep themselves fit to play at any time, mental health is also important for cricketers. He believes mental fitness gives an athlete the confidence to start well once the game resumes.
“When you are locked at the home for two-three months, it is important to keep mental fitness well. I think you can hold on to your fitness by working out for five or six days, but being mentally strong is the most important factor,” Mominul said.
Bangladesh Test captain also advised his teammates to recite the holy Quran, inspirational books or watch motivational movies.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh’s five series have been postponed. They will be rescheduled once the situation gets better. Mominul said they might not get a breather due to a lot of cricket next year.
Bangladesh played their last international match on March 11 this year against Zimbabwe. Since then, Bangladesh’s five series were postponed due to the pandemic. They include three Tests (two against Australia, one against Pakistan), four ODIs (three against Ireland, one against Pakistan) and four T20Is (all against Ireland), and three Tests (against Sri Lanka).