James Sutherland, who served as the Chief Executive Officer for Cricket Australia since 2001, has resigned from the post, two months after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Sutherland has given 12 months’ notice and would continue in his position until a suitable replacement is found.
Sutherland announced his departure from the post at a news conference on Wednesday. His resignation comes two months after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, which resulted in suspensions for the Test captain, Steve Smith and vice-captain, David Warner and the resignation of coach Darren Lehmann.
Sutherland has given 12 months’ notice and would continue in his position until a replacement is found. A former first-class cricketer with Victoria state, Sutherland was appointed in 2001 to replace Malcolm Speed. Participation in the sport grew under his leadership but his tenure was punctuated by some controversies.
“After nearly 20 years at Cricket Australia, the time is right ... I feel very comfortable that this is the right time for me and a good time for the game,” Sutherland said on Wednesday as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Earlier this year on the tour of South Africa, captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were caught in a plot to tamper with the match ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Smith and Warner were subsequently banned by Cricket Australia for 12 months, and Bancroft for nine months. The sanctions were significantly harsher than any imposed by the International Cricket Council for similar offenses. After being cleared of any involvement in the ball-tampering incident, Darren Lehmann also resigned as national coach less than a week later.
Smith has been replaced as captain by Tim Paine and Justin Langer has since taken over for Lehmann as national coach. Sutherland was also involved in the meetings where Cricket Australia negotiated a new pay deal with the players’ union. In April, CA announced a new six-year television deal in which domestic coverage, which moved from Australia’s longtime cricket telecaster, the Nine Network, to Seven and Fox Sports.