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James Sutherland has announced that he will be stepping down as chief executive of Cricket Australia after a tenure that spanned 17 years.
Sutherland has provided 12 months’ notice and will continue carrying out the duties associated with the role until a replacement is found.
Sutherland’s decision to resign comes more than two months after the ball tampering scandal that stunned the cricketing world.
“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 was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “In the last 12 months we have laid key foundation stones which have included a new strategy for Australian cricket, a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Cricketers’ Association that provides certainty for our male and female cricketers, and just recently, a new domestic broadcast rights deals that will see broader TV coverage and significant increases in revenue flowing into the game.
“With these foundations in place, I feel that it is a good time to hand over the reins to a new CEO. My successor will have a strong and stable platform from which to lead our national strategy and to deliver on our bold aspirations to grow cricket as Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.
“As it has been over the last 20 years, it will be a privilege and honour to continue to serve the game over the remaining months that I am in office.”
During his time in the position, the Big Bash League (BBL) was established in 2011, the first-ever day-night Test was held in 2015, the Women’s Big Bash League was created in the same year, and major broadcast deals were signed in both 2013 and 2018.
“On behalf of the board and management of Cricket Australia we thank James for his wonderful service to the game,” Cricket Australia chairman David Peever said. “James has been instrumental in driving crucial change around the game to make it even stronger for future generations.
“During his period of leadership, James has retained a strong passion for junior cricket and its fundamental importance in providing sustainable growth to the sport. To that end, cricket has experienced a 228 per cent increase in participation including a near ten-fold increase in female participation.
“Aggregate attendances have increased by 137 per cent, whilst revenue has also increased nearly ten-fold being around $50 million when James commenced in the position, to around $500 million today.”