Hockley new interim CA boss, Roberts out

Steve Larkin
Nick Hockley has been installed as interim CEO of Cricket Australia, replacing Kevin Roberts (pic)

Cricket Australia will soon detail widespread staff cuts after axing Kevin Roberts as chief executive.

Roberts departs amid acrimony over his handling of staff stand downs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nick Hockley, chief executive of the Twenty20 World Cup, replaces Kevin Roberts as interim chief executive.

CA chairman Earl Eddings is in the process of informing staff of their futures, with 200 people stood down on 20 per cent pay since April.

"No doubt, they're hurting," Eddings told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's a necessary thing for us to be able to cut the costs of our organisation ... we are not through the crisis yet."

Eddings hoped to publicly detail the range of staff cuts on Wednesday, a day after removing Roberts as chief executive.

Roberts, who had 18 months to run on his contract, becomes the third CEO of a major Australian sporting code to exit during the coronavirus crisis, after Todd Greenberg (NRL) and Raelene Castle (Rugby Australia).

"It's challenging times and all the things we have had to do going forward requires a new style of leadership ... now it's time for a significant shift," Eddings said.

CA's board grew increasingly frustrated by Roberts' handling of the financial fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Eddings conceding communication failures.

"We could have done our communication better ... it could have been clearer and more concise," he said.

Roberts was given the top job in October 2018 after James Sutherland's 17-year tenure.

Hockley, an Englishman who leads the T20 World Cup organising committee, was non-committal about seeking the role on a permanent basis.

His appointment signified the dwindling prospect of Australia hosting the T20 World Cup this October and November.

"I would say it is unlikely... Trying to get 16 countries into Australia when most countries are still going through COVID spiking is unrealistic or very, very difficult," Eddings said.

CA has submitted a proposal to host the event next year to the International Cricket Council, which will make a decision next month.

Separately, CA had sought to slash costs by 25 per cent across the board which included state funding, but NSW and Queensland refused to accept the cuts.

The Australian Cricketers' Association had already lodged a formal dispute regarding CA's revenue forecasts.

Television broadcasters Fox Sports and the Seven Network were expected to try to renegotiate the $1.2 billion deal that will soon enter its third year.

"The media industry is going through a whole range of disruption," Eddings said.

"We have lost no content ... we held up our end of the bargain and I'm sure Channel Seven and Foxtel will as well."