James Sutherland resigns as Cricket Australia CEO

The 52-year old was appointed in 2001 as CA's chief executive.

James Sutherland CEO Cricket Australia
James Sutherland CEO Cricket Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

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James Sutherland, the man who has been at the helm of Cricket Australia for the majority of his administrative career has taken the decision to step down from his post. This comes as a bit of a surprise, especially following the scandals the Aussies have been involved in over the last few months beginning with the ball-tampering scandal and with three of the top Aussie players finding themselves out in the cold. Speaking to reporters in Melbourne, the 52-year old broke the news stating that there were a few key planks made that would allow a new person to take charge.

“It certainly was a big issue at the time,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “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.”

Sutherland, having been appointed as the successor to Malcolm Speed in 2001 also went on to mention that he had been talking about stepping aside with chairman David Peever for about two years before finally making the decision to do so.

“David and I have actually been talking about this for two years….where I am personally,” he said. “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.”

‘Time is right to start a new era’

With the ensuing scandals, and despite all that has happened so far, Sutherland has stated that his successor will indeed have a strong and stable platform to ensure that things are run smoothly.

“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,” he said. “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 favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.”

“I’m very fortunate to have been the chief executive, that I really, truly believe in, and am inspired by the people around me,” Sutherland said. “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.”

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