James Sutherland, the Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Australia, has publicly announced his decision to leave Australia’s governing body of cricket in a year’s time. Speaking at a news conference in Melbourne yesterday, Sutherland said that he would be relinquishing his role by informing the board and giving them a notice period of twelve months. There have been speculations of pressure being put on him due to last year’s ball tampering scandal in South Africa, when three Australian players received bans from International Cricket of between nine and twelve months in duration.
Sutherland ascended to the top spot at Cricket Australia in 2001, a period in Australia’s cricketing history that saw the national side go from strength to strength under captains like Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, winning World Cups and other international tournaments in both formats of the game. What some refer to as a “golden age” for Australian cricket saw the likes of many outstanding performers, both with the bat and ball, and with the advent of globalized cricket under the new T20 format, Cricket Australia spearheaded the move to set up the “Big Bash League” that has proved to be a popular, modern version of the sport of cricket, much loved by both young and old.
With the ball tampering scandal last year, Sutherland was forced to make a public statement admitting to the guilt of the players in the incident, having received confessions of their involvement in the matter. The impact of this blemish on the Australian team, and cricket itself, is thought to have prompted his decision to resign from the leading role in Cricket Australia, although Sutherland himself has not made any indication to confirm this.