New Delhi:The International Cricket Council announced that Imtiaz Patel has withdrawn his interest in becoming the organisation's next chief executive officer (CEO).
Patel indicated his decision in a telephone conversation with ICC president-elect David Morgan on Sunday.
The recruitment committee charged with identifying a successor to current CEO Malcolm Speed - ICC President Ray Mali, Creagh O'Connor, and Vice President Sharad Pawar - will now reconvene.
The incoming CEO will take over from Malcolm Speed, who steps down from the role after this year's ICC annual conference, scheduled between 29 June and 4 July.
Speed has held the position since July 2001, when he took over from the ICC's first CEO, David Richards.
Commenting on Patel's decision, Morgan said: "We are obviously disappointed that Imtiaz has chosen to withdraw his interest, having regarded him highly.
"However, the fact that Imtiaz has withdrawn does not mean that, by default, we will be left with a candidate who is, in any way, inferior to him.
"In fact, we have been fortunate to have several high calibre candidates on the shortlist, all of whom bring something slightly different to the table.
"The role of ICC CEO, while challenging, represents a huge opportunity for the successful candidate.
"It is an opportunity for that person to help forge the future of our great game at a time of huge innovation and excitement.
"We remain committed to securing the services of the right candidate and we anticipate being able to complete that task in the very near future," he added.
Patel said: "My family and I have reflected deeply on the wonderful opportunity which the ICC presented to me to fulfil such an important role in a sport which is in my blood.
"After considering my position carefully, I have, however, resolved to remain in my beloved country, South Africa, and continue in my challenging and fulfilling role as Chief Executive Officer of SuperSport International."