Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts is reportedly about to become the third CEO of a major Australian sporting body to be on the lookout for a new job since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Both the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian are reporting that Roberts is about to be shown the door this week, with the Herald saying his departure could be announced as soon as Wednesday after a tumultuous few months at CA.
While the organisation was fortunate the pandemic hit with the majority of the summer season already finished, Roberts has attracted hefty doses of criticism for his handling of the crisis.
Most staff were stood down in April on 20 per cent pay amid dire financial forecasts, however Roberts has reportedly remained on 80 per cent of his salary. Employees are expecting to hear any further developments about redundancies at the organisation later this week.
The national governing body has also developed strained relationships with the Australian Cricketers’ Association and the state bodies, with Cricket NSW telling staff last month they believed CA had been too quick to propose funding cutbacks for the states.
NSW have not stood down or laid off their staff, although the other states have had to make cutbacks of some kind.
With India, world cricket’s most lucrative visitors, still set to tour Australia for a four-Test series plus limited-overs matches, predictions of bare coffers have been met with some scepticism.
Roberts, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the year regardless, has been CEO since late 2018. If he is shown the door, it would be a remarkable shift for Cricket Australia after the 17-year tenure of Roberts’ predecessor, James Sutherland.
If the 47-year-old does indeed depart the organisation this week, the board would likely appoint an interim replacement before searching for a permanent successor. It would also make him the third chief executive to leave a major Australian sporting code in the past few months, following in the footsteps of the NRL’s Todd Greenberg and Rugby Australia’s Raelene Castle.