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Kevin Roberts resigns as Cricket Australia Chief Executive
Kevin Roberts has today resigned as Chief Executive of Cricket Australia with the Cricket Australia Board announcing the appointment of Nick Hockley, currently Chief Executive of the ICC T20 World Cup, as Interim Chief Executive, effective immediately.
Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings advised that Cricket Australia would conduct an international search for a new chief executive to lead the organisation as cricket prepares to spring back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eddings thanked Roberts for his service to cricket during his eight years at Cricket Australia, initially as a board member and more recently as Chief Executive – a period that saw Roberts contribute to the highly successful Women’s T20 World Cup, record levels of funding directed to community cricket and breakthroughs in areas such as gender pay equity and participation.
Eddings noted “Kevin has worked tirelessly since taking on the role in difficult circumstances in 2018, and particularly during the challenges of the past few months,” and added “he is a man of principle who has always put the best interests of cricket first. We wish him all the best for his future.”
Cricket Australia advise that the leadership change comes ahead of an operational reset for the organisation to be detailed later in the week. The Executive and Board have been preparing an amended FY21 plan in response to COVID-19 and to reinvigorate cricket in a changed operating environment.
However, as reported in the Media, Roberts’ resignation follows a dispute between Cricket Australia’s governing body and major stakeholders during the Coronavirus pandemic. With Hockley taking on the role in the interim, Cricket Australia's Board is reportedly seeking to break from months of disruption.
The pressure on Roberts had steadily increased since April 2020 and during the COVID-19 crisis when he advised Cricket Australia staff that most would be stood down for the rest of the financial year.
According to the ABC, Roberts repeatedly insisted that cost-cutting measures were prudent because the COVID-19 pandemic had cast doubt over so many elements - initially warning workers that Cricket Australia risked running out of money in August.
Cricket Australia debated its financial position and projections with the players' union and state associations, seeking to cut costs by 25% across the board.
The Australian Cricketers' Association and several states questioned the drastic action.
Cricket Australia’s cuts saw more than 200 staff members stood down, while its 25% cuts to state association grants resulted in more than 100 job losses around the country.
The cuts also impacted key grassroots and junior development programs.
Cricket Victoria cut 36% of its staff - more than 55 positions - with a spokesman conceding there will be a "significant impact on community cricket".
Queensland Cricket also let go of 32 staff members in May, following the 23 in South Australia and 20 in Tasmania already cut.
Western Australian Cricket Association Chief Executive, Christina Matthews also warned of impending cuts for the game in her state although at the time of reporting in May,Cricket NSW was the only state body resisting Cricket Australia's demands.
Cricket Australia Chairman Eddings notes “Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and – in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19.
“The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been – and will continue to be necessary – to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future.
“It is essential that Cricket Australia continues to provide strong leadership and works constructively with everyone who has an interest in the future of the game – the players, all employees, the state associations, commercial partners and supporters.”
Following his resignation, Roberts, via a Cricket Australia media statement noted it had been a "privilege" to “lead and serve” as CA chief executive adding “our team of staff and players are outstanding people who contribute so much to the game and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.
“I’d like to thank the army of volunteers in communities across the country who are the lifeblood of our sport, enabling kids to experience the game and to dream about emulating their heroes in our national teams. As a lifelong and passionate member of the cricket community, I look forward to seeing the game thrive into the future.”
On Hockley’s appointment, Eddings noted that he had earned the respect of the cricket community through his leadership of ICC T20 World Cup and would be able to hit the ground running adding “we are optimistic about cricket’s present and its future and, together with our partners across the States and Territories and the players, we look forward to hosting a summer of cricket that will be great for the game and great for the nation.”
3rd October 2018 - Kevin Roberts named new Cricket Australia Chief Executive
29th May 2020 - New Zealand Cricket advises of planned job losses
16th April 2020 - Parkes cricket pavilion restored to former Glory
9th April 2020 - Coronavirus pandemic halts Pakistani cricket
22nd March 2020 - Online cricket coaching program launched
23rd January 2020 - Eden Park set to host ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021
30th December 2019 - Research finds Australian cricket not ready for challenges of climate change
29th December 2019 - Cricket Victoria pays tribute to its volunteers
18th December 2019 - Toyota and Cricket Australia partner to help kit out girls’ cricket teams
15th December 2019 - Cricket welcomes Federal Government funding towards the WACA Ground
3rd December 2019 - Cricket Australia refuses gambling sponsor for Big Bash League
7th November 2019 - Cricket Australia names former female player as Director
15th October 2019 - Cricket Australia makes commitment to Women’s T20 World Cup pay parity
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