Sport Cricket Axe falls at Cricket Australia
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Axe falls at Cricket Australia

cricket Australia boss to resign
David Peever had been under intense pressure to resign after the damning ethics report. Photo: AAP
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Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has resigned.

Mr Peever’s resignation was confirmed after a Cricket Australia board meeting about 3pm Thursday.

Earl Eddings, who was appointed CA’s deputy chairman and heir apparent at last week’s annual general meeting (AGM), is set to serve as interim chairman.

Mr Peever has been under intense pressure all this week, since the release on Monday of The Ethics Centre’s damning review into the culture at CA.

The report painted a picture of an “arrogant and controlling” organisation that was far from blameless in the explosive ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March this year.

It is understood at least one state cricket association had this week made it clear to Mr Peever he no longer had their backing. That association, and other figures within the sport agitating for change, hoped the embattled chairman would stand aside rather than have to be forced out of the role.

The former Rio Tinto executive had actually offered his resignation earlier this year, after calling the Ten Network “bottom feeders” in an email to its US network chiefs that was later leaked. But his resignation was rejected by CA’s board.

The appetite for change mounted throughout the year, especially after the release of Monday’s independent review that described CA as “arrogant, dictatorial, controlling, disrespectful, hypocritical” and responsible for the normalisation of verbal abuse.

As of Thursday morning, Mr Peever was reassured he had the “full support” of states, but a series of calls then put the wheels in motion for change at the top.

Mr Peever was unanimously re-elected at CA’s annual general meeting (AGM) last Friday. But state associations had not yet read The Ethics Centre’s scathing report at that stage.

Until Thursday’s announcement, Mr Peever has been the most high-profile survivor at the governing body of those who were in charge at CA during the ball tampering scandal which claimed several high-profile scalps.

Captain Steve Smith was sacked then coach Darren Lehmann resigned in tears after watching Smith’s emotional press conference at Sydney airport.

Chief executive James Sutherland’s 17-year tenure ended last week, when he passed the baton onto Kevin Roberts.

Former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed and former chairman Bob Merriman had both called on long-serving board member Mark Taylor to replace Mr Peever as chairman.

Former skipper Taylor’s promotion is no fait accompli.

John Harnden, chief executive of the 2015 World Cup and 2006 Commonwealth Games, and Jacquie Hey, who became CA’s first female board member in 2012, are other obvious candidates on the current board.

Those states backing Mr Peever cited fears a power vacuum could have a damaging and destabilising effect at the start of summer as part of the reason for their stance.

-with AAP

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