Kevin Roberts, the former Sheffield Shield cricketer, will replace James Sutherland as Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive on 25 October.
Roberts, 46, played 23 first-class games and 18 domestic matches for New South Wales in the mid-1990s as a batsman, and has since been a successful business executive in global sportswear brands.
He returned to cricket in 2015 as the Cricket Australia (CA) Executive General Manager – One Team, Strategy and People, before becoming CA’s first Chief Operating Officer this year. He has also been on the boards of Netball Australia and the Australian Sporting Goods Association, apart from at CA.
Roberts, who CA said had been confirmed for the position after a global search, will take charge after the annual general meeting on 25 October. Sutherland, who announced his decision to step down on 6 June this year after a 17-year-long stint in the position, will officially complete his term that day.
“It is a great privilege and responsibility to lead and serve the cricket community as CEO of Cricket Australia,” Roberts said in a statement. “I thank the Board for this opportunity and look forward to commencing in the role.
“One of the many things I love about cricket as our national sport is its ability to bring people together and inspire us, regardless of our age, gender or cultural background. Our success is made possible by the hard work of Cricket Australia employees, players, coaches and State and Territory Cricket Associations, along with the contribution of volunteers who are the lifeblood of our game in the community.
“I am inspired by the many people who give so much to cricket in paid and unpaid roles and I am passionate about helping them achieve ongoing success.”
Under my leadership, we will be deeply committed to providing the best experiences of cricket to everyone who watches the game or plays the game
It has been a tricky time for Australian cricket, with widespread scrutiny following the ball-tampering incident in South Africa earlier this year. Steve Smith and David Warner have been serving year-long bans as a result, and Cameron Bancroft has also been suspended for nine months.
The situation led to Darren Lehmann stepping down as Head Coach of the national men’s team too, and a cultural review has been put in place – it should be completed soon.
“It's also true that the game and Cricket Australia have faced some difficult times recently, but we will bounce back, just as our organisation has overcome challenges on and off the field many times in its proud history,” said Roberts.
“Under my leadership, we will be deeply committed to providing the best experiences of cricket to everyone who watches the game or plays the game, and we will work closely with our broadcasters and commercial partners to deliver on that commitment.”
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