Cricket Australia chief executive, James Sutherland has resigned from his position, adding more smoke to the Sandpaper gate incident.
The 52-year-old revealed his decision on Wednesday (June 6) and had given a 12-month notice to CA to plan for a successor.
Sutherland has been at the hot-seat since 2001, but he has been under pressure since the ball-tampering incident took place in Cape Town.
Then skipper Steven Smith along with his deputy David Warner were handed 12-month ban. Newbie Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Coach Darren Lehmann too stepped down from his role post the incident.
Ball-tampering played no role: Sutherland
But Sutherland made it clear the ball-tampering incident played no role in his exit.
“It certainly was a big issue at the time,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “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.”
Sutherland on the Cape Town Test
With CA bagging some good deals, the boss thought it is the right time to move on.
“We’ve had some big, big things to deal with over the course of the last 12 months,” he added. “Obviously, there’s Cape Town, but there’s also some key planks that are now in place to allow me to step aside and for a new chief executive to come in and have a really strong platform from which to operate and take the game forward,” he said.
The former Sheffield Shield player said he had been thinking about his future for some years now.
“David and I have actually been talking about this for two years….where I am personally,” he said. “But also when the best time for the game is, as I said before, with some really key building planks in place, the strategy, the media rights deal now done…I feel that it’s a good time for me to hand over the reins to a new chief executive,” he said.