CA board backs Eddings to continue as boss

Rob ForsaithAAP
Cricket Australia has endorsed Earl Eddings to serve a second and final term as chairman.
Camera IconCricket Australia has endorsed Earl Eddings to serve a second and final term as chairman. Credit: AAP

Cricket Australia's board has backed Earl Eddings to serve another term as chairman as it seeks to ease English unrest and lock in this summer's Ashes.

Eddings' leadership has come under fire from Cricket NSW and Queensland Cricket in the past 18 months.

But the Cricket Australia (CA) board, which removed Kevin Roberts as chief executive amid last year's upheaval and cost cutting, has released a statement unanimously endorsing the Victorian as the right man to oversee the sport through another challenging summer.

Eddings still needs to be nominated and re-elected as a director at CA's annual general meeting on October 14 to continue as boss.

That is currently the least of his and CA's worries, with the governing body still in critical discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding a summer that involves men's and women's Ashes series.

Eddings and chief executive Nick Hockley, who flagged last week he hoped to provide assurances to the ECB in "coming weeks", remain confident the schedule will proceed as intended.

But India's recent abandonment of their final Test against England has seemingly only emboldened Joe Root's side, whose concerns relate to quarantine restrictions for themselves and family members but also biosecurity rules throughout the tour.

ESPNcricinfo has reported Root and teammates are considering their options, including a boycott of the tour.

Until the standoff is resolved, the prospect of an understrength England squad will cast an unwanted spectre over the showpiece series and indeed CA's broadcast partners.

Eddings, having quickly taken the moral high ground regarding Australia's one-off men's Test against Afghanistan that is set to be scrapped, will also be a key player when the International Cricket Council eventually formulates its position regarding the impact of the Taliban's return to power.

Eddings replaced David Peever as CA chairman in 2018, when his predecessor resigned in response to pressure from NSW equivalent John Knox amid the wreckage of the sandpaper scandal.

CA's board and Eddings have agreed on a more structured succession plan this time, with a deputy chair to be appointed at the end of the coming season.

"Earl has provided much-needed leadership stability and strategic vision during the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic," the board said in a statement.

"We continue to face a challenging and uncertain environment.

"It is critical to have the stability and proven experience to enable the board to maintain its strong relationships with the national and international cricket community, our valued sponsors, broadcast partners and all other stakeholders."

The absence of succession planning was among Cricket NSW's various concerns about Eddings.

"I recognise the benefits for our sport of leadership renewal and fully support the smooth succession plan endorsed by the board," Eddings said in Thursday's statement.

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