Simmering tension with the board has led to Cricket Australia (CA) CEO Kevin Roberts resigning effective immediately.
CA chairman Earl Eddings broke the news on Tuesday morning about Roberts, who only took up the role in October 2018 from long-time former head honcho James Sutherland.
Roberts has been replaced on an interim basis by T20 World Cup CEO Nick Hockley, who an English-born administrator who has worked closely with CA on the women’s and men’s events in Australia this year.
Hockley along with CA director John Harnden, ex-Cricket NSW chief John Warn and WACA CEO Christina Matthews have all been earmarked as potential full-time replacements.
Roberts’ downfall has emanated from CA’s grave financial position in light of the coronavirus outbreak, which shocked many given the pandemic originated during cricket’s off-season.
The fallen CA boss had declared that the governing body would lose up to AU$100million, although he failed to articulately explain why, leaving many observers confused.
The situation led to criticism of maladministration from Roberts and his executive, with some even claiming it was engineered, amid staff being stood down with CA and mass redundancies in state cricket.
Roberts’ handling of the coronavirus’ impact on the organisation has soured relations with the CA board, with the CEO falling on his swing by handing in his resignation.
“Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19,” Eddings said in a statement.
“The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been and will continue to be necessary to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future.
“It is essential that Cricket Australia continues to provide strong leadership and works constructively with everyone who has an interest in the future of the game the players, all employees, the state associations, commercial partners and supporters.”