Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland Announces Resignation

James Sutherland has given 12 months' notice of his resignation and says it is the "right time" to step down.

What you need to know
  • James Sutherland has announced his intention to step down as chief executive of Cricket Australia
  • He gave 12 months' notice to the organisation to plan for his successor
  • Sutherland came under fire during the storm of controversy regarding the Australian ball-tampering scandal in South Africa

James Sutherland has announced his intention to resign as chief executive of Cricket Australia.

Sutherland addressed media in Melbourne on Wednesday, giving 12 months' notice to the organisation to plan for his successor.

"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 for the new (chief executive) with the smoothest possible handover," he said.

The chief executive said it was the "right time" to step down.

"My overwhelming feeling today is a sense of gratitude," he said.

"After nearly 20 years at Cricket Australia and 17 years as chief executive, the time is right for me and my family, and I think the time is also right for cricket."

Sutherland joined Cricket Australia (CA) as general manager in 1998 after a short career as a seam bowler for Victoria and a stint as finance officer at the Carlton AFL club.

He was appointed chief executive in 2001, replacing Malcolm Speed, and has since then remained with the organisation.

In his announcement, Sutherland said foundations for a new strategy for Australian cricket, including a new broadcast rights deal and a new collective agreement with the Australian Cricketers' Association, had been laid over the last 12 months.

James Sutherland announced his resignation on Wednesday. Getty Images

"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," he said.

CA chairman David Peever lauded Sutherland's contribution to the game.

"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 said.

"He is, without a doubt, the best sporting administrator in Australia and the best in world cricket.

"James has been instrumental in driving change around the game to make it even stronger for future generations."

Sutherland came under fire during the storm of controversy regarding the Australian ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year, which claimed the scalps of captain Steve Smith and vice-captain Dave Warner.

The chief executive was under immense pressure to reveal whether this type of conduct was common in the team and whether he had been aware of it in past matches, as well as to act swiftly in punishing those responsible.

Warner, Smith and player Cameron Bancroft only received relatively minor sanctions from the International Cricket Council over the affair, but were handed additional heavy penalties by Cricket Australia with the captains given a year ban and Bancroft nine months.

Steve Smith addressing media in Cape Town over the ball-tampering scandal. Getty Images

Sutherland and the wider Cricket Australia board were also heavily criticised for allowing what was seen as a toxic culture to pervade the team.

In 2017, as CA hammered out a new broadcast rights deal, players had threatened to boycott matches unless they were offered better pay and conditions.

Bitter negotiations saw CA try to scrap a revenue-sharing model which would reward players directly for better ratings and profits.

"This process hasn't been easy and history will judge whether it was all worth it in the end," Sutherland said at the time.

Warner was a leading figure in loudly lobbying for more reward for players during the negotiations. The process led to strained relations between CA and players, a situation which was only further exacerbated by the 'sandpapergate' affair in South Africa.

Agency Egon Zehnder will lead the search for Sutherland's replacement.

CEO James Sutherland Resigns From Cricket Australia