Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive James Sutherland stepped down from his position on account of the ball-tampering scandal. This is another blow to the governing body of Cricket Australia. He announced this decision today and gave 12-months notice to the authority to search for his successor.
This 52-year old cricketer was serving in the position since 2001 and was under pressure since March due to the ball-tampering issue. The captain Steve Smith and David Warner were handed a ban period of one year for being the masterminds behind this deception and Cameron Bancroft who implemented this was banned for nine months from all kinds of international and domestic cricket activities.
The CA integrity head Lein Roy and the former coach Darren Lehmann also resigned for their posts. Lein Roy has executed the investigations in the ball-tampering issue before losing his place. Justin Langer succeeded Darren Lehmann. He entered the Cricket Australia as a successor to Malcolm Speed.
David Peever, the chairman of Cricket Australia declared that he would continue in his three-year term. The CA is undergoing an independent review of the ball-tampering scandal. Sutherland said that his decision was not the result of the scandal but he wants to welcome the new era.
He said “It certainly was a big issue at the time,”
“But when you work in an industry and a rich environment as we do, as chief executive of a major sport, these things come from time to time. It hasn’t had a bearing on my decision.
“We’ve had some big, big things to deal with over the course of the last 12 months,” he added.
“Obviously, there’s Cape Town, but there are also some key planks that are now in place to allow me to step aside and for a new chief executive to come in and have a really strong platform from which to operate and take the game forward.”
“David and I have actually been talking about this for two years….where I am personally,”
“But also when the best time for the game is, as I said before, with some really key building planks in place, the strategy, the media rights deal now done…I feel that it’s a good time for me to hand over the reins to a new chief executive.”
“It’s my intention to give the board the opportunity to run a thorough process to identify my successor and for me to provide support to the new (chief executive) with the smoothest possible handover,”
“My successor will have a strong and stable platform from which to lead our sport and to deliver on our bold aspirations for cricket to be Australia’s favorite sport and a sport for all Australians.” He said.
Sutherland was the mastermind behind the introduction of Big Bash League and day-night Test cricket. He also dealt with critical issues like the death of the cricketer Philip Hughes.
He further added “I’m very fortunate to have been the chief executive, that I really, truly believe in, and am inspired by the people around me,”
“So whatever’s been achieved in the way that the game has grown is absolutely a team effort. It is my underlying belief that the most important thing we do as a sports administrator, and that inspires the next generation to love cricket. Boys and girls. It’s all about that.”
David Peever said in praise of Sutherland that “James has done an incredible job and has always carried himself with integrity, humility, and dignity, apart from knowing the game of cricket inside out,”
“He is, without doubt, the best sporting administrator in Australia and the best in world cricket.
“This was completely James’ decision … the ball tampering situation has created upheaval but it has helped us understand the passion Australia has for cricket and we must tap into and respect that passion,”
He said that he will continue for the rest of his term. In this context, he said “The board has asked me to another term and I’ve agreed to do that,” he said.
Kevin Roberts, the Chief operating officer of Cricket Australia may succeed James Sutherland. He was promoted to this position a month ago.
In this context, he said “We must find the best person for the role and in order to do that we must build the most competitive field to select from,”
“We will probably have a little bit of bias towards an Australian but I don’t want to put constraints on it,” Peever concluded.