Peever stands down as chairman
Cricket Australia chairman announces his resignation, with Earl Eddings taking over as interim chairman
1 November 2018, 09:36 PM AEST
Cricket Australia Chairman David Peever has announced he will stand down from his role effective immediately in the face of mounting criticism stemming from the review of corporate and on-field culture that was released earlier this week.
Despite being appointed to a further three-year term at the helm of CA’s board at the organisation’s annual general meeting last Thursday, Peever confirmed his decision to resign this afternoon amid continuing fall-out from the crisis that began in South Africa last March.
Peever has also indicated his intention to step down from the CA Board and not continue serving as a director.
Earl Eddings, a former Cricket Victoria director who was confirmed as deputy chair at last week’s AGM, has been installed as interim chair until the Board convenes in the near future to undertake the process of making a permanent appointment.
“We thank David for his service,” Eddings said in a statement.
“He has played a pivotal role in the elevation of women’s cricket, and the significant growth in attendance and participation.
“He should also be acknowledged for his efforts in improving funding to the ICC full member nations outside Australia, England and India; overhauling governance of the ICC and reforming the Future Tours program, among a long list of achievements.
“We look forward to continuing the important process of recovering and rebuilding for Cricket Australia and Australian Cricket.
“The Board is keenly aware that we have a way to go to earn back the trust of the cricket community. We and the executive team are determined to make cricket stronger.”
In releasing findings of the 145-page report prepared by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre, Peever expressed his belief that he was best-placed to oversee the cultural changes outlined in the review’s 42 recommendations.
In the seven months since the cheating incident at Newlands, Australian cricket has seen three players (captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft) suspended, men’s team coach Darren Lehmann resign and long-serving Chief Executive James Sutherland retire.
Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard had earlier indicated his intention not to seek re-appointment when his current contract expires in mid-2019.
In acknowledging the report’s critical findings that CA’s “arrogant” and “controlling” culture had, in part, contributed to the development of a “win without counting the cost” mentality that led to the ball-tampering episode, Peever rejected calls for his resignation.
“I serve as chairman at the pleasure of the board and I serve as a director at the pleasure of our owners, the states," he told a media conference that followed the review’s release.
“(I) serve cricket with a feeling of great privilege and responsibility.
“I'm not embarrassed at all ... we're very committed to moving the game forward and using this review as a platform to do that.
“We didn't put sufficient emphasis on the spirit of the game in our pursuit of wanting to be the very best we could on the field.
“That's been recognised and we're using the report now as an opportunity to do better.”
However, in the days that followed, he came under sustained pressure to stand aside from influential voices including ex-Test captain Ian Chappell, former CA Chief Executive Malcolm Speed and past Board chair Bob Merriman.
“I’d like to thank David for his service to Australian cricket,” Australian Cricketers’ Association President Greg Dyer said in a statement.
“Dedicating six years to the Board of Cricket Australia is a demonstration of his commitment to the game.
“We will continue to work closely with interim Chair Mr. Earl Eddings and the Cricket Australia Board at this important time, including in the implementation of the recommendations of the Longstaff Review."
Peever joined the CA Board in 2012 and took over the chairmanship from former Test opener Wally Edwards in 2015, having served an 18-month term as deputy chair.
The 61-year-old was a former first-grade cricket opening batter with Eastern Suburbs in Brisbane’s Premier Cricket (grade) competition, whose elevation to the CA Board came amid changes introduced in the wake of a 2011 review of the organisation’s governance structures.
That saw the Board change from its historic state association-based structure to an independent panel that included figures from the business world (including Peever and chair of the Ethics Centre review sub-committee, Jacquie Hey), as well as former players Mark Taylor and Michael Kasprowicz.