Sutherland: Ball tampering had no bearing on resignation
CRICKET Australia chief executive James Sutherland has announced his resignation, giving 12 months' notice.
After 17 years at the helm, Sutherland confirmed his departure on Wednesday morning, with the news coming two months after national coach Darren Lehmann resigned following the ball-tampering scandal.
Sutherland, a former first-class cricketer with Victoria, was appointed in 2001 as Malcolm Speed's successor at the then Australian Cricket Board.
"After nearly 20 years at Cricket Australia and 17 years as chief executive the time is right for me and my family," Sutherland said at a press conference where he was flanked by chairman David Peever.
"My successor will have a strong and stable platform to lead our sport and deliver on our bold aspirations for cricket to be Australia's favourite spot and a sport for all Australians.
"My overwhelming feeling today is a sense of gratitude. I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to be given this job.
"I thank David and his five predecessors for having the confidence in me and their friendship, support and counsel."
Asked what toll the ball-tampering scandal had taken on him, Sutherland said: "It certainly was a big issue at the time. But when you work in an industry and a rich environment as we do, as chief executive of a major sport, these things come from time to time. It hasn't had a bearing on my decision.
"David and I have actually been talking about this for two years to say when is, understanding, where I am personally. But also when the best time for the game is, as I said before, with some really key building planks in place, the strategy, the media rights deal now done.
"It just feels like a good time for me to hand over the reins in an orderly fashion to my successor."
CA chairman David Peever thanked Sutherland for his services while confirming he would be staying on for another term.
"He is without doubt the best sporting administrator in Australia and the best in world cricket," he said.
"When he leaves the game he can most certainly say it's much stronger for him having been in it.
"The game has never been in a stronger position, and now the board will embark on a process to fill some very big shoes."