Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards has allowed James Sutherland to carry on as the board’s CEO indefinitely due to the “outstanding job” he has done.
Sutherland’s contract was supposed to expire after the 2015 World Cup, but he will no longer be given contracts from that point on. Instead, he will be moved to “an ongoing employment arrangement”, which basically means that he can carry on with his job for as long as he likes.
“The change recognises the outstanding job James is doing leading Australian cricket,” Edwards said. “The game’s comprehensive strategic plan is on track and the outcomes from our team performance, governance and national financial model reviews are starting to take hold.
“As a board, we want James to continue his work leading Australian cricket, with the aim to be the number one sport for viewership, fan passion, participation, team success and to be a completely unified national sport. The game is currently in a strong position and is well placed to realise its potential.
“The numbers speak for themselves with grassroots participation, attendances, television and digital audiences at all-time highs. Further to that, Australian sides are either sitting at, or challenging, for the world’s number one ranking.”
Edwards also revealed that Cricket Australia’s profits and the number of Australians playing cricket have significantly risen during Sutherland’s tenure as CEO.
“Throughout James’ tenure annual participation has grown from 436,000 Australians playing the game to more than 1.1 million while revenue has leaped from $56.5m to a forecast of more than $300m,” Edwards said. “Furthermore, the overall financial strength of cricket as a not-for-profit, community-based game that faces the challenging need to reinvest more in the game’s future cannot be underestimated. It is allowing us to pay record dividends to our members and to reward international, state and BBL players appropriately for the commercial value they bring to the sport.”
Responding to Edwards’ comments, Sutherland said: “I’m very grateful to the board for the confidence and faith it has showed in me to continue as CEO beyond next year…It is a huge honour to lead the game and I’m as passionate as I have ever been to deliver on our strategy of making cricket Australia’s favourite sport.”