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Cricket Australia chief resigns amid leadership criticism

MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Tuesday that chief executive Kevin Roberts has resigned with immediate effect following months of criticism over his leadership during the coronavirus shutdown.
CA Chairman Earl Eddings told reporters in a video call that Roberts would be replaced by interim CEO Nick Hockley, the chief executive of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.
Eddings informed staff of the decision earlier in the day, saying the board needed to move on from the disruptions that have engulfed the organisation over the past few months.
“Kevin agrees now is the right time for a change of leadership,” Eddings told reporters. Roberts had been under fire since a shock decision to lay off about 80 percent of staff at the head office in April and a warning that the game was in financial peril.
He said the cuts were to manage the impact of COVID-19 despite the shutdown coming at the end of the season and exerting minimal impact on cricket scheduling.
Roberts attempted to push through further cost-cutting programs but state associations that nominate members to CA’s executive board pushed back against the proposed reductions in grants.
Players were also upset by proposals to reduce domestic scheduling and were sceptical about CA’s bleak estimates of revenue projections that underpin their pay.
The decision to snub Perth as a venue for one of the four test matches in the lucrative India tour also angered Western Australia’s state association.
Earlier this month, Roberts said the domestic game could lose Australian $80 million due to the pandemic, with fans barred from stadiums and the Twenty20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October likely to be postponed.
With India’s tour for December all but confirmed, spectators expected to return to stadiums from next month as COVID-19 infections dwindle, while others state that Roberts may have exaggerated the financial strain.
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