Cricket Australia chief Sutherland to step down

James Sutherland has announced his intention to step down as the long-serving chief executive of Cricket Australia.

Sutherland (pictured) announced that he had given his 12-month notice at a press conference this (Wednesday) morning. He succeeded Malcolm Speed at the helm of the organisation – which was then called the Australian Cricket Board – in 2001.

“After nearly 20 years at Cricket Australia and 17 years as chief executive the time is right for me and my family,” Sutherland said. “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.”

Sutherland’s decision comes just two months after national team coach Darren Lehmann resigned in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal.

Referring to the episode, 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.”

He added that he had been considering stepping down for the past two years.

Cricket Australia chairman David Peever added: “He is without doubt the best sporting administrator in Australia and the best in world cricket. The game has never been in a stronger position, and now the board will embark on a process to fill some very big shoes.”