James Sutherland resigns as Cricket Australia chief executive

An era ended as James Sutherland joined the growing line of departures from Cricket Australia in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, though he insisted that his managed exit after 17 years was the result of more than 24 months of careful discussion with the chairman David Peever.
Sutherland served as chief executive since 2001 and oversaw a period of great growth but also turmoil. Most recently, the South Africa tour shone a poor light on the national team and the organisation. However, the game’s financial growth during his time was enormous. Some of the major changes included the formation of the Big Bash League in 2011, the start of day-night Test cricket in 2015, and major increases in broadcast rights deals in 2013 and this year.
“Today I’m announcing my intention to stand down as chief executive of Cricket Australia. In advising David [Peever] and the board of my decision I’ve provided 12 months’ notice. 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 CEO with the smoothest possible handover. After nearly 20 years at CA and 17 as chief executive, the time is right for me and my family and I think the time is also right for cricket.
“My overwhelming feeling today is a sense of gratitude. I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do this job and I’ve worked closely with six chairmen. I’d like to thank David and each of his five predecessors for having the confidence in me and for their friendship, support and counsel along the way.“By far the most inspiring thing about the job that I do is the people that I work with. I love and admire their passion for the game and their dedication to serve the cricket community. In addition to those at CA that includes people in our states and territories and of course the thousands of volunteers across Australia who do a wonderful job for cricket. Any credit to me has only ever been due to the great people around me.
“Finally, thanks to my family. None of our three kids were born when I started work at CA, so in a sense that’s all they know. But it’s my wife Heidi who is the one who really deserves the credit. She’s made her own personal sacrifices for my career and our own family and I can’t thank her enough for her support and understanding.”It was a measure of Sutherland’s eventful tenure that he sat alongside Peever, who is the sixth he has served alongside, after Denis Rogers, Bob Merriman, Creagh O’Connor, Jack Clarke and Wally Edwards. On the same day Sutherland revealed his intention to depart.
, Peever confirmed he had the CA Board’s backing to continue for another three years.
As such, Peever is looking increasingly like the lone survivor of Newlands and its aftermath, which has so far included bans for the captain Steven Smith, deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the resignation of the coach Darren Lehmann, the hurried removal of the head of integrity – and Cape Town investigator – Iain Roy and now the end of Sutherland’s long stint at the helm. At the same time the former board director Kevin Roberts has been promoted to chief operating officer, a role Sutherland had previously declined to furnish. That places Roberts in the vanguard of a candidate list that may also include the former NSW chairman John Warn, the state’s chief executive and former CA strategist Andrew Jones, and the recently appointed game development chief Belinda Clark.