CA Chairman David Peever and Kevin Roberts.
CA Chairman David Peever and Kevin Roberts.

Key figure in player pay war named new Cricket Australia boss

CRICKET Australia have announced James Sutherland's successor, with Kevin Roberts to take the top job.

Sutherland announced he would step down after a mammoth 17-year reign, following the ball tampering scandal.

Administrators from rival codes such as David Gallop (soccer) and Todd Greenberg (rugby league) were reported to be in the running, but CA chose to appoint from within.

"After an extensive interview process Cricket Australia has identified Kevin Roberts as the best candidate to lead Cricket Australia moving forward," Chairman David Peever said.

"He has a clear mandate to deliver our strategy to ensure cricket maintains a strong and sustainable foothold both locally and globally."

Roberts led the protracted pay dispute negotiations with Australian cricketers last year.

Roberts, who played 23 first class games for NSW in the mid-1990s, was the favourite given he only recently took up a role as CA's No. 2 man, a position created specifically for him.

"It is a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility to lead and to serve the Australian cricket community," Roberts said.

"This is a responsibility that I respect deeply including the important role that Australia plays as a leader of international cricket.

"It is important to acknowledge James and the legacy that he leaves after what has been an absolutely extraordinary tenure as CEO.

"Over the last 20 years no one has contributed more to the game in Australia than James Sutherland.

"In terms of the future our strategy is clear and I have a clear vision of how to achieve our aspirations as an organisation and as a sport."

Roberts was head negotiator for CA in the recent pay war with the players, but was sensationally sidelined after a standoff threatened to bring the game in Australia to a costly standstill.

Only when Sutherland joined negotiations at the 11th hour was the stalemate broken and the deal finally struck, however Roberts says he has moved on.

"We learned a lot from the pay dispute, but the MOU was signed 14 months ago, so we are very much about looking to the future," Roberts said.

"We have three and a half years until the next agreement is made and we want to continue to strengthen our relationship with the ACA and the players in the lead up to the next MOU."

Roberts, however, appears to have lost no standing at CA and his recent promotion put him in the box seat for the top job, after Sutherland's decision to step down.