SYDNEY: Former Test captain Mark Taylor has downplayed his chances of leading Cricket Australia (CA), with interim chairman Earl Eddings favourite to take over after the organisation was rocked by a ball-tampering scandal.
Taylor was tipped for the hotseat after former chairman David Peever quit on Thursday under intense pressure following a scathing review which partly blamed CA for the damaging ‘sandpaper-gate’ episode.
The respected ‘Tubby’ Taylor, a current board member, was endorsed by former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed. But he cited a conflict of interest in seemingly ruling himself out.
“Given my media role, I don’t believe being chairman would be appropriate,” he was quoted as saying by Channel Nine, having recently signed a new contract with the broadcaster which has the rights to the World Cup and Ashes series in 2019.
Taylor’s long-time former team-mate Ian Healy said he would be “a very good chairman”, but the time wasn’t right. “I just think he might be a victim, Tubby, in that anyone who presided over that culture when the Longstaff review was handed down, how can we make them chairman?” Healy said.
Another ex-Test player and current board member, Michael Kasprowicz, could get the nod if CA heeds the call from Speed for a “dyed-in-the-wool cricket” leader to assume the role.
But Australian media suggested Peever’s deputy Eddings, who has a corporate background as managing director of a risk-management company, was the frontrunner.
Others in the hunt include respected sporting administrator John Harnden, a former chief executive of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and the South Australian Cricket Association.
Another candidate is Jacquie Hey, a former boss of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand who made history in 2012 when she became the first woman appointed to CA’s board.
In assuming the interim role on Thursday, Eddings admitted “we have a way to go to earn back the trust of the cricket community”.
Former mining executive Peever, who was only voted in for a new three-year term last week, resigned after a week of mounting pressure.
Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018