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25 Apr 2019, Edition - 1381, Thursday

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Sports

David Peever resigns as Cricket Australia chairman

The Guardian

Seven months on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, another victim has been claimed after the Cricket Australia chairman, David Peever, tendered his resignation in the wake of a damning review into the organisation’s culture.

Following an extraordinary board meeting on Thursday afternoon, Peever fell on his sword after calls from the states for him to stand down effectively made his position untenable. Earl Eddings, the deputy chairman, was appointed as the interim chair.

“We look forward to continuing the important process of recovering and rebuilding for Cricket Australia and Australian cricket,” Eddings said in a statement. “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.”

Pressure had been mounting on Peever since the findings of the report, undertaken by the Ethics Centre, were made public on Monday. It found CA to have been “controlling” and “arrogant”, and allowed a win-at-all-costs mentality to develop that culminated in the on-field events at Newlands earlier this year.

Peever was unanimously re-elected to his position for another term of three years at last Thursday’s AGM, just days before the report was released to the public. The states that voted him in for a second term had not seen the report at the time and afterwards expressed their concern.

In responding to the findings of the report on Monday, Peever said he served cricket with “a feeling of great privilege and responsibility” and was adamant he would not stand down.

“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,” he said. “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.”

But he came under intense fire in the days that followed, notably from former Test captain Ian Chappell and former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed, the latter who took exception to Peever’s assertion in an interview that the cheating scandal was a “hiccup”.

The scandal had already cost Darren Lehmann his position as coach, while Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are all currently serving bans.

Further upheaval came with the retirement of the CA chief executive, James Sutherland, two months after Cape Town, and high performance manager Pat Howard has also announced he will move on, after the 2019 Ashes series.

The board will reconvene in the coming weeks to discuss the appointment of a permanent replacement for Peever.

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