Cricket Australia’s clean out shows no sign of slowing down, with Monday’s marathon board meeting full of forthright discussions after Mark Taylor’s move to follow deposed chairman David Peever out the door.
Devoid of energy and losing sleep as the sport he loves threatens to tear itself apart, CA’s longest-serving board member Taylor tendered his resignation on the eve of Monday’s board meeting.
It came one week after CA released an independent report that described the governing body as arrogant, dictatorial, controlling, disrespectful and hypocritical.
There is a school of thought at CA’s headquarters that more upheaval could prove unhelpful and unnecessary but there are murmurings that more directors might yet walk.
“For the sake of (interim chairman) Earl Eddings and the board going forward, I hope it stops with me,” Taylor said.
“I feel sorry I have left him with two voids to fill.”
The board met on Monday afternoon for several hours; their hopes the ODI series opener might deliver some good news having quickly collapsed in Perth.
The most pressing issue is whether CA’s board votes on a new chair or waits until a nominations committee appoints Peever and Taylor’s replacements.
Opinion is divided, as is the case with many issues affecting the sport.
The power vacuum has created ugly debate between cricket’s bigwigs, some of which has entered the public domain.
Taylor was floated last week as a potential successor to Peever by former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed, with the game in desperate need of inspired leadership as it lurched from crisis to crisis in the aftermath of the Cape Town cheating scandal.
But Taylor, who represented Australia in 104 Tests before being appointed in 2004 to CA’s board, cut an exhausted and shattered figure at the SCG.
“Since the release of the reviews and the fallout of that, she (my wife) will tell you that my sleep hasn’t been as good as it normally is,” Taylor said.
“That to me was a sign that I needed to move on and give someone else a go.
“Over the last 13 years … it’s taken its toll on me – over the last two weeks, even more so.
“I said many months ago my next step as a Cricket Australia director was to step up or to step off the board.
“I’ve got to the stage where I don’t think I can give any more. I’ve lost the energy.”
The Ethics Centre’s 145-page summary of cricket’s cultural malaise was the final straw but Taylor also cited the toll taken by last year’s pay dispute, the sandpaper scandal, failed attempts to rebuild the relationship between CA and the players’ union, and the tricky balance of being a board member and Nine Network pundit.
Taylor’s exit will arguably leave a bigger hole for CA to fill than Peever’s resignation, especially when it comes to various on-field matters they must fix.
Taylor had served for almost 15 years as a conduit between administrators and players, having notably played a key role in Steve Smith’s appointment as Australia’s youngest Test captain since Kim Hughes.