Sport Cricket Cricket Australia exodus: Mark Taylor steps down

Cricket Australia exodus: Mark Taylor steps down

Mark Taylor says it is time for new blood at Cricket Australia. Photo: AAP
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Former Test skipper Mark Taylor is the latest to join the Cricket Australia (CA) exodus, with the long-serving board member following deposed chairman David Peever out the door.

Taylor was floated as a potential successor to Peever last week by former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed, with the sport in desperate need of inspired leadership in the aftermath of the Cape Town cheating scandal.

But Taylor, who was first appointed to CA’s board in 2004, confirmed at the SCG on Monday that he was quitting as a director, saying he knew a couple of weeks ago it was time to go.

“I said many months ago my next step as a Cricket Australia director was to step up or to step off the board,” Taylor said.

I had an opportunity to put my name forward as the chairman or to step off.

“I think I’ve made the right move in the interests of Australian cricket to step off and give some other, hopefully, former player an opportunity to add some fresh ideas to this role as a director of Cricket Australia.

“I’ve got to the stage where I don’t think I can give any more.”

The development comes one week after CA released an independent report that described the governing body as arrogant, dictatorial, controlling, disrespectful and hypocritical.

Peever initially refused to go but stood down last Thursday after a forthright phone call from Cricket NSW counterpart John Knox.

Other states were fully supportive of Peever.

Infighting over who should be CA’s new chairman continues to bubble away as the sport threatens to tear itself apart.

The absence of Taylor will arguably leave a bigger hole for CA to fill than that created by Peever’s resignation, especially when it comes to the various on-field matters referenced in The Ethics Centre’s 145-page summary of cricket’s cultural malaise.

Taylor, who represented Australia in 104 Tests before joining Channel Nine’s commentary box, had served as a conduit between administrators and players for almost 15 years.

He played a key role in Steve Smith’s appointment as caretaker captain in 2014, when the board blooded Australia’s youngest Test captain since Kim Hughes after Michael Clarke’s back injury.

Taylor last week ruled himself out of the race to be CA’s next chairman, citing the obvious hurdle of his three-year contract with the TV station broadcasting next year’s Ashes and World Cup.

The 54-year-old has generally been measured and diplomatic in his dealings as a CA board member, both private and public.

But recent frustrations bubbled to the surface on Sunday when he attacked the players’ union after their recent push to have the bans on Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft lifted.

Mark Taylor Steve Smith
Mark Taylor interviews now suspended skipper Steve Smith. Photo: Getty

“I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to try and get a better relationship with the cricketers and the board and Cricket Australia,” Taylor said on Nine Network.

“There’s not enough people thinking about winning at all costs … from everywhere in Australian cricket.”

Taylor, Peever, coach Darren Lehmann and chief executive James Sutherland have all resigned this year, while team-performance boss Pat Howard has vowed to walk next year.

Taylor’s exit means CA’s nominations committee will have to add two new directors to the board.

The new directors will be selected by a nominations committee consisting of South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) president Andrew Sinclair, Cricket Victoria chairman Paul Barker and two CA directors.