Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts has become the third top administator to be shown the door since COVID-19 rocked the sports world, sacked after a tumultuous 20-month tenure.
Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings brought the curtain down on Roberts’ short stint as James Sutherland’s successor as pressure mounted for him to be moved on over his perceived botched response to the coronavirus crisis.
CA staff were informed of the decision on Tuesday morning prior to a Zoom press conference, just hours after Roberts had officially handed in his resignation.
World Cup chief executive Nick Hockley has been appointed interim boss of Cricket Australia as the company searches for a full-time replacement.
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Roberts will be done tomorrow
“Kevin has worked tirelessly since taking on the role in difficult circumstances in 2018, and particularly during the challenges of the past few months,” Eddings said.
“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.”
Roberts’ call to stand down 80 per cent of Cricket Australia staff has ultimately cost him his job, with furore growing among staff who have been kept in the dark about cricket’s apparent crisis.
He has also been under-fire from the Australian Players’ Association, as well as state associations, after brutal cost-cutting measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia great Ian Healy said Roberts is walking the plank after bungling the sport’s coronavirus response.
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“He’s led a panic, a very premature panic, on the pandemic for no great reason and no reason he’s been able to explain transparently to the states and the players,” Healy told SEN on Tuesday.
“Kevin’s going to cop it… but how does the board let that happen?
“Not only has Kevin implemented a lot of strategies that have turned a lot of people sour… the board of Cricket Australia has overseen all that.”
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Over 150 staff have been sacked across the states and territories, with a large number of Cricket Australia staff set to ben informed of their own futures on Wednesday.
Roberts still had over a year to serve on his contract, but the board felt his position was no longer tenable after a number of poor decisions.
Roberts was given the top job in October 2018 following James Sutherland’s 17-year tenure, beating a field that featured former Cricket NSW chairman John Warn, current CA director John Harnden and WACA chief executive Christina Matthews.
Warn, Harnden and Matthews would all be highly-rated candidates should they wish to apply again.
Roberts follows a number of high profile CEOs to leave their post, with Todd Greenberg (NRL) and Raelene Castle (Rugby Australia) among those to have been shown the door in recent months.
“It’s been a privilege to lead and serve the sport I love as CEO of Cricket Australia,” Roberts said.
“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.”
– with AAP