Cricket Australia has confirmed the resignation of chief executive Kevin Roberts on Tuesday morning, following turbulent financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Roberts becomes the third CEO of a major sporting organisation in Australia to resign since the coronavirus outbreak, the National Rugby League and Rugby Australia also seeing their top officials depart.
Tensions had, however, reached a stalemate on the Cricket Australia board, with speculation that Roberts would have been asked to leave his post before the end of this week.
The governing body has suffered severe financial blows under the current climate, while they still look to host the T20 World Cup in October. Many staff members have also been laid off for the rest of the financial year.
As a result, Roberts has been replaced by Nick Hockley, chief executive of the T20 World Cup, on an interim basis.
Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings released a statement wherein he thanked Roberts for his services, while emphasising the importance of a new direction for the board.
‘Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and, in recent months, we have had the added uncertainty delivered by Covid-19. The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been – and will continue to be – necessary to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future.
‘It is essential that Cricket Australia continues to provide strong leadership and works constructively with everyone who has an interest in the future of the game – the players, all employees, the state associations, commercial partners and supporters,’ read the statement.
Roberts replaced former CEO James Sutherland in October 2018, following Sutherland’s resignation from the role after a 17-year tenure.
In exchange, Roberts paid tribute to his time as CEO and thanked Cricket Australia for the opportunity, despite the premature conclusion of his reign.
‘It’s been a privilege to lead and serve the sport I love as CEO of Cricket Australia. Our team of staff and players are outstanding people who contribute so much to the game and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.
‘I’d like to thank the army of volunteers in communities across the country who are the lifeblood of our sport, enabling kids to experience the game and to dream about emulating their heroes in our national teams. As a lifelong and passionate member of the cricket community, I look forward to seeing the game thrive into the future,’ said Roberts.