James Sutherland stands down as Cricket Australia CEO

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    James Sutherland has announced he is standing down as Cricket Australia’s CEO, revealing he will leave the organisation in 12 months’ time.

    In a hastily called press conference on Wednesday morning, Sutherland said the time is right for someone new to lead Cricket Australia forward.

    Sutherland’s decision will end his 17-year reign leading Australian cricket, a period which has seen a number of successes, including the establishment of the Big Bash, an increase in wages for female cricketers, and a new billion-dollar broadcast deal which will start this summer.

    Australia’s men’s and women’s national teams have also enjoyed plenty of on-field victories during Sutherland’s tenure.

    However, Sutherland’s legacy has been tarnished somewhat by a couple of events in the past 12 months, notably the pay dispute between CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association which saw the game’s professional players go on strike last year, and the ball-tampering scandal during the men’s Test tour of South Africa earlier in 2018.

    Now, with the new broadcast deal signed and ball tampering saga over, Sutherland said the time is right for him to vacate his role.

    “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 said.

    “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.”

    Sutherland’s decision to give 12 months’ notice before leaving his position will give Cricket Australia plenty of time to find a successor. CA’s board has appointed an external agency – Egon Zehnder – to conduct the search for a replacement.

    While Sutherland is headed for the exit, current chairman David Peever will stay in his current for one more three-year term.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (63)

    • Roar Guru

      June 6th 2018 @ 11:30am
      The Bush said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      Can he go now? 12 months is a long time…

      Was he pushed?

      • June 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm
        Bamboo said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        I still think we got the best possible version of what went on with the ball tampering saga. Remember what we were told? It was the first time, it was tape, discussed by the leadership group and the coach wasn’t in on it.

        Regardless of peoples opinion of him, Sutherland did an increadibly good job at keeping the focus on cheating individuals, and not that of a cheating team. The difference between the two is massive financially, commercially and also reputation wise. This during a time when the broadcasting rights were being renegotiated also. If it came about that it was a cheating team every single one of their sponsors would be heading for the door.

        Whatever stuff comes out, it doesn’t make CA as an entity look bad. Hes leaving anyway.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 6th 2018 @ 12:50pm
          Matthew Pearce said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          Except he then proceeded to bow to public outrage and give the blokes disproportionate punishments.

          Chuck in his complete absence of leadership during the pay saga and it’s clear he’s well past his use-by date. How many other CEO’s could manage overseeing so many stuff-ups for as long as he was there and come through all of them unscathed?

          • June 6th 2018 @ 12:58pm
            Bamboo said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

            I agree mate, but this is the very guy that during the whole tampering saga stated he had no intention of standing down.

            What has happened since then?

            • Roar Rookie

              June 6th 2018 @ 1:24pm
              Matthew Pearce said | June 6th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

              Only time will tell if we’ll actually find out. Let’s be honest though, it’s probably some pragmatic sacrificial lamb business; I doubt it’s even anything resembling CA taking responsibility.

              Glad to see it, all the same. ‘Sandpapergate’ should absolutely have been the last straw for Sutherland, no questions asked. 17 years for a CEO is ludicrous.

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2018 @ 3:01pm
                The Bush said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                I see Chappelli agrees with us about Sutherland’s “used by date”.

            • June 6th 2018 @ 5:12pm
              JayG said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

              Steve Smith said he would not resign as captain – next day he was out.
              Darren Lehmann was found innocent and CA said he would continue as coach – he was out at the end of the series.
              CA says Justin Langer has not been appointed as coach – he is appointed coach within 2 weeks of the statement
              CA said they have full faith in Sutherland and he will not stand down – he resigns in 2 months.

              See the pattern here? Whatever CA say, they mean the opposite.

              It is interesting that they are saying Smith, Warner and Bancroft’s bans will not be relaxed…

              • June 6th 2018 @ 8:22pm
                Peter said | June 6th 2018 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

                What have they said about the Origin result?

              • June 7th 2018 @ 12:30am
                JayG said | June 7th 2018 @ 12:30am | ! Report

                Lol. Apparently they were saying Queensland..

          • Roar Rookie

            June 6th 2018 @ 4:35pm
            savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

            “I still think we got the best possible version of what went on with the ball tampering saga.”

            Without Doubt.

            My version –

            It goes without saying that Australians were tampering with ball for some time.But still the whole tampering saga was brushed off as if it was first time doing(but in reality it was first time being caught) and only three people knew of this(LOL! BIGGEST JOKE OF ALL).Although,I can understand why CA did this.

            Lehmann should’ve been sacked after that series but just to make it less controversial,He was allowed to resign.There was absolutely no way for Lehmann continuing as coach.

            Just to add,there is no such thing as mastermind of ball tampering Saga.Warner was banned only because he was the orginal ball tamperer of the Australian Team.Bancroft was just a replacement of him.

            “Except he then proceeded to bow to public outrage and give the blokes disproportionate punishments.”


            Punishment that warner,Smith and Bancroft recieved were absolutely harsh.Mainly because they were not the only one who knew about this.In some ways,Rest of the players were also responsible.

            Whole team knew that ball tampering was going on for some time.

            The scenario of warner telling Cook that he was tampering in ASHES and at the same time keeping this secret to his teammates can only happen in Delusional world.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm
              Matthew Pearce said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

              You got any proof that they were doing it before then, champ?

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 5:10pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                LOL you are talking as if everyone believes they did it for the first time.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 5:10pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report


              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm
                Matthew Pearce said | June 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

                So, nothing. Colour me surprised.

              • June 6th 2018 @ 6:01pm
                qwetzen said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

                Old interweb adage: Never argue with an idiot.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:05pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

                I have only evidence to support my claim.But I’m sure it won’t be enough for you.


                This is not the first time I’ve been asked to bring facts or proofs here.Just like I could’ve asked for proofs to the poster Bamboo (whom you replied to )who thinks “we got the best possible version of tampering saga”.You need to understand that opinions can be formed without any proof or facts especially when we are discussing about cricket.Otherwise,It would’ve been waste of my time here.I’ve already given my version of story.

                Anyway,You can believe whatever you want like only 3 players knew about ball tampering or this is their first time ball tampering.I’m not here to change anybody’s opinion.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:20pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

                As always my comment is awaiting moderation

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:48pm
                Matthew Pearce said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

                LOL @ The Sun.

                “This is not the first time I’ve been asked to bring facts or proofs here.”

                How outrageous. Wanting factual discussion. Absolutely mind-blowing.

                “You need to understand that opinions can be formed without any proof or facts especially when we are discussing about cricket.”

                Yes. We call those “uninformed,” and they’re generally not given much credence.

                I never stated what I believed. I merely asked you for proof about prior ball-tampering. You responded with “evidence” that doesn’t actually state or prove anything.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 7:33pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                How brave qwetzen.I hope you can sleep well now.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 7:41pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

                Matthew Pearce,

                I don’t know which part of my post you didn’t like.

                In a Nutshell,I was in agreement with opinion that “we got the best possible version of what went on with the ball tampering saga.”

                Two main point from my post was-:

                1 Australia have done ball tampering before.

                2 Warner,Smith and Bancroft weren’t the only one who knew about this.

                If you think that warner hasn’t tampered the ball before.Although I can understand your point of view but we can agree to disagree on this.

                You can say that my opinions are misinformed.But If the informed opinions are “only three people knew about the ball tampering” or “this was their first time” then I would rather believe in my “uninformed” opinions.At one point,Informed opinions were also that Sticky paper was used instead of Sandpaper.

                Just to clarify,I’m not saying Australian cricket Team are ch……
                If anything I was in agreement with you about the punishment that Warner,smith and bancroft recieved were harsh and disproportionate.

          • June 7th 2018 @ 5:54am
            JayG said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:54am | ! Report

            I think its funny that all the pitchfork wielders who were calling for the players’ heads on a platter have disappeared and comments I see on most forums seem to suggest that Australian cricket fans are beginning to concur that the bans were excessive and an over-reaction by CA. I wonder if the clamor will increase when we actually begin losing games – for example the upcoming series against England which even the most ardent fans seem to have already given up on.

        • June 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm
          Matt Davies said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          I agree with you Bamboo and I wrote an article at the time of how CA had done a commendable damage limitation exercise after Smith naively opened a Pandora’s Box with the “leadership group” comments. They successfully ring-fenced the 3 fall guys, imposed extraordinary punishments to take the moral high ground and placate an agitated public and started a review.

          I am willing to buy the Bancroft was doing this for the first time – at 8 Tests old, he could not have done it too often before and his inept performance at doing so confirms my belief. I do not buy that Warner had never fiddled with the ball before though it is likely that he had never used sandpaper before. I am on the fence as to whether Smith knew about any previous attempts to tamper with the ball..I absolutely do not buy that everybody else on the team thought everything was kosher.

          • June 6th 2018 @ 4:03pm
            Bamboo said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

            The big thing that still jumps out at me is the silence of the coach from the get-go, to the point where he refused to face all media after that days play.

            If the coach was in on it, its a cheating team, not cheating individuals.

            • June 6th 2018 @ 6:14pm
              George said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

              Come on, Boof knows where the line is!

              You know the same line which Paine just mentioned again as one Australia does not cross.

              Oh wait…

              • Roar Rookie

                June 6th 2018 @ 6:19pm
                savage said | June 6th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                Boof has drawn the line in Sandpaper.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 2:24am
              Matt Davies said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:24am | ! Report

              What I find interesting is that Iain Roy and James Sutherland – the main investigators of the Sandpapergate are leaving within weeks of each other while an independent review is under progress at CA.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 5:47am
              Matt Davies said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:47am | ! Report

              I think its interesting that both investigators from the Cape Town incident – Iain Roy and James Sutherland are leaving/resigning within weeks of each other while an “independent” review is ongoing at CA. I hope they release the report from the review to the public.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 7th 2018 @ 2:54pm
                savage said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                They are obviously tying up loose ends but in the most graceful manner possible .

                Lehmann was already not guilty,the minute when Steve Smith said Lehmann knew nothing about Sandpaper in press conference.Although I Agree that if lehmann was revealed as guilty then “cheating Team” label would’ve been stick to Australian Team and Australian Cricket would’ve been finished for some extremist Fans.

                Like you,Nobody outside Australia buys that only 3 people knew about ball tampering or warner has never tampered the ball before.Kudos for saying that here as there is every chance of some sensitive naive guy calling you an idiot for this.Just like everybody knew that De Kock was guilty of abusing warner wife’s but there was no proof as he wasn’t caught in camera.Surprisingly,Nobody here would ask for proof in this case.

                CA has basically handed over the scripts and it’s time for Australian players to perform.
                Now Rest of the players will tell us their cr@p story in a given time and it would basically go along the line “I was so shocked after knowing my teammates were ball tampering that for a minute my eye suddenly popped out from the socket” as if they want us to believe they knew nothing what was happening in the field or Leadership Group which involves Smith warner etc or whoever decided to buy Sandpaper kept secret from rest of the players or Bowlers can’t differentiate between Simple cricket ball and Tampered ball.

      • June 6th 2018 @ 1:26pm
        Todd Shand said | June 6th 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

        James Sutherland is the most incompetent administrator in cricket history.He should have resigned years ago as under his watch Australian cricket has declined as a respected sport. Only interested in chasing the $$ and not looking after grass roots cricket and poor scheduling of games.

        CA should just concentrate on returning cricket into a national game, as it once was, instead of becoming a market driven global enterprise designed for multi-media consumption. The fate of international Test Cricket is still hanging in the balance as CA switches itself from one form of cricket to another for the sake of the commercial dollars, whoever takes Mr Sutherland’s job the fate of Test Cricket in general should be paramount.

        He should go now rather than giving 12 months notice and taking the money. Hopefully he won’t have his say in the successor although I suspect it will be jobs for the boys.

        “The game has never been in a stronger position, and now the board will embark on a process to fill some very big shoes.” Ah…cheating scandals, captaincy issues, dwindling crowds at Tests, ODI becoming irrelevant, India dictating day/night tests…yeah, soooooo strong!!

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 3:03pm
          The Bush said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

          I’m no fan of the guy. He inherited a sport in rude health, in the midst of a once-in-a-century team, and once this passed, we’ve seen nothing but a decline on almost every front, bar the BBL. And even there, many would argue it’s not being managed well when balanced against the needs of the Australian side and domestic cricket generally.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 3:19pm
            JamesH said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            It’s kewl how his last acts before resigning were to ban our best players and put ODIs behind a paywall tho.

            Jame$ $utherland

            • June 6th 2018 @ 8:33pm
              Peter said | June 6th 2018 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

              Probably got a gig lined up on the Board of Directors of Fox.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 5:42am
              JayG said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:42am | ! Report

              I keep hoping that after the ICC come up with their new recommendations for ball tampering penalties, CA will sense and relax the sandpapergate penalties which were a crazy over-reaction to a hysterical media response and opportunistic politicians

      • June 6th 2018 @ 1:54pm
        No Surprise said | June 6th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

        Wish I could say I was surprised. He should have gone a decade ago. Really he has overseen a running down of the sport and kowtowed to the Asian brigade unnecessarily.

        Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You certainly did well out of your time in cricket. Thanks for taking it off free to air, that’s your great legacy ya muppet!

        Lesson is, do not hire an accountant to run your business if you intend on growing it and improving the quality of what you make. All you get is the money goes to the top and the bottom gets squeezed.

    • June 6th 2018 @ 11:33am
      lesterlike said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      All Football fans right now: “Please take Gallop, please take Gallop, please take Gallop.”

    • Roar Pro

      June 6th 2018 @ 11:34am
      sittingbison said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

      Never saw that coming 😉

      But 12 months? Really??

    • Roar Guru

      June 6th 2018 @ 11:35am
      Chop said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

      Good news: he’s leaving
      Bad news: not for 12 months

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 11:49am
        Ryan H said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        This. Why does it have to take this long? Can’t he depart now? He is pure toxic

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 12:34pm
          Chop said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          He single-handedly destroyed the relationship between the players and the CA by not getting involved in the EBA negotiations and showed no leadership of late.

          I’m amazed at the amount of salary committed to CA keeping the wheels turning, there has to be an element of snouts in troughs.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2018 @ 2:22pm
          spruce moose said | June 6th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

          Ok Ryan,

          Go – find a CEO in a week.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 3:05pm
            The Bush said | June 6th 2018 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

            A month? Six months? How long does it take? Does it take a year? He didn’t do anything during the pay dispute and I feel like others did more during Tape-Gate – what exactly does he do? Have an interim person sit in the post while they search.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2018 @ 4:40pm
            Ryan H said | June 6th 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

            Yeah well it’d need longer than a week, and that’s fairly obvious. But 12 months??

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2018 @ 1:27pm
              spruce moose said | June 7th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report


              A 12 month notice period is not uncommon at that level. Executive board roles require a minimum of 6 months.

              If they were to get a CEO from another administration, then they’d be needing to give notice too.

              Executive roles take time.

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 3:28pm
                Ryan H said | June 8th 2018 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                Yeah fair, I suppose I am just impatient because I wanted the bloke gone well even before this

          • June 7th 2018 @ 5:44am
            JayG said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:44am | ! Report

            Unfortunately, knowing CA, they may have already “found” Kevin Roberts as the next CEO. If that is the case, I almost find myself wishing Sutherland stays on.

    • June 6th 2018 @ 11:36am
      fp11 said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      Good riddance!

    • June 6th 2018 @ 11:51am
      zoltan said | June 6th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      Classic Peever incompetence the moment he goes off script, saying he will have a clear bias towards an Australian successor to Sutherland. Anti-discrimination much? Good way to ensure that any talented overseas applicants won’t bother. He may as well just give it to Roberts now.

      • Roar Guru

        June 6th 2018 @ 12:02pm
        JGK said | June 6th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        I think he would if he could.

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