Englishman brings fresh approach to Australian cricket
Cricket Australia's interim CEO says his adopted country has been "extremely lucky" during the global health crisis as he looks to deliver the 2020-21 summer
20 June 2020, 10:19 AM AEST
As the first Englishman asked to run Cricket Australia, Nick Hockley offers a point of difference, perspective and passion.
But not entirely for the reasons you might assume given Hockley grew up around the corner from Edgbaston, regards last year's World Cup final as the greatest cricket match of all time, and played rugby alongside former Ireland captain Niall Hogan at Oxford University.
Hockley, whose accent belies the fact he is now an Australian citizen after living here for almost eight years, was elevated as Kevin Roberts' replacement on Tuesday.
Head of the Twenty20 World Cup organising committee, Hockley watched the COVID-19 pandemic wreck years of planning for the men's tournament that is due to start in October but is expected to be delayed.
It has undoubtedly been frustrating, yet the bigger picture has been front of mind in recent months.
"We've been so lucky this coronavirus situation hit in our off-season," Hockley told AAP.
"We're also just extremely lucky in Australia. I speak to family in England and everybody knows someone who has had it (the virus), most people know someone who has passed away.
"And we're here talking about crowds coming back. We're going to restaurants. Obviously it's all step by step and cautious, but I think there's just so much to look forward to."
Hockley brings an optimistic approach to the role, but concedes there remains uncertainty as the country continues to navigate its way through a global health crisis.
"It is complicated ... it is about making sure that we deliver the summer safely and as best we can. We are laser-focused on those priorities," he said.
"Summer is fast approaching. We owe it to the players, fans and the cricket community to pull together. The first thing I need to do is really get up to speed, I've got a lot of reading to do."
The chartered accountant is well equipped to unpack CA's finances, having been part of its executive throughout the decision-making process that this week led to 40 redundancies as part of cost-saving measures.
Hockley fell in love with Australia and met his wife during a stint in Sydney at accounting firm PWC that ended when he joined the 2012 London Olympics organising committee.
He started at the 2015 Cricket World Cup organising committee literally a day after his London 2012 contract finished - and has continued to work in Australian cricket since.
Ellyse Perry, who on Friday praised Hockley's aspirational vision to fill the MCG for the women's T20 World Cup final, has been among a stack of well-wishers from Australia and England.
CA's new boss has already touched base with counterparts at state level plus national coaches Justin Langer and Matthew Mott, while his opening address to staff on Wednesday was after 40 workers had been let go.
Tim Paine spoke of mixed emotions when he became Test captain, a career highlight following the team's lowlight in Cape Town, and Hockley can relate.
"I haven't had too much time to digest it all," he said.
"I worked closely with Kev for eight years. It's been a really tough week.
"Wednesday was a really, really difficult day."