John Howard joins Cricket NSW
Cricket tragic and former PM named patron
2 September 2014, 09:11 AM AEST
Lifelong cricket tragic and former Australian prime minister John Howard has been named a patron of Cricket NSW.
Howard, Australia's second longest-serving prime minister, was confirmed in the new role at Cricket NSW's annual general meeting on Monday night.
He joins former Test allrounder Alan Davidson and former rugby star and Sydney lord mayor Sir Nicholas Shehadie as patrons.
"John has always had a strong interest in the game of cricket and he will provide a wealth of knowledge and experience in his new role," CNSW chairman John Warn said.
"Cricket NSW is blessed to have three individuals who care deeply about our great game and its continued growth within the state."
While not a talented cricketer, as evidenced by his infamous delivery in Pakistan in 2005, Howard has always been a passionate fan of the game.
He was a regular attendee at matches right around the world and would often sit in the ABC Radio box for a guest commentary stint during the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
He also delivered the first Bradman Oration back in 2000.
His appointment as Cricket NSW patron signals his first formal appointment in the game, after he controversially failed in his bid to be vice-president of the ICC back in 2010.
Howard's nomination was blocked by the powerful Indian contingent, with the former PM citing his political background as the possible reason for their rejection.
Cricket and politics often mixed during Howard's reign as leader, notably when Australia's cricketers boycotted touring Zimbabwe as a means of mounting political pressure on Robert Mugabe.
Australia are currently competing in a tri-series in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, the first time they have toured there since 2004.