James Sutherland on Thursday stepped down from his position of Cricket Australia's Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The veteran cricket administrator would be replaced by Kevin Roberts, who had earlier served as the director and leader of CA's executive team.
Sutherland took over the position of CEO in 2001 and during his 17-year tenure, Australian cricket witnessed some of its most successful days. Along with being the best Test team in 2000s, they also won three ODI World Cup titles.
However, his successful tenure at the top was marred by the ball-tampering fiasco. The scandal involved three Australian players - Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - using sandpaper to change the condition of the ball in a Test match against South Africa last March.
The scandal led to the suspension of the three players and coach Darren Lehmann stepping down from his position.
Sutherland resigned from his position earlier this year in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal, however, he has always maintained that the fracas had nothing to do with his decision.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo on the last day of his tenure as CA's CEO, Sutherland described the ball-tampering incident as a "WTF" moment.
“I was heartbroken by the events that happened and I think that in some ways I totally understand that in the heat of battle things can boil over and go awry and there can be regrettable incidents. [But] I think in some ways the issues of Cape Town were a different thing altogether, it wasn’t necessarily a confrontation between two players, that was a premeditated WTF moment that shocked us all. Part of the extent of my disappointment around Cape Town is heightened by what happened earlier in the series, and my feeling that there were warning signals,” Sutherland told ESPNcricinfo.
Sutherland added that the game of cricket will be better due to the incident.
“I said from the outset the game will be better for this, it already is, it is not just in Australia but around the world through various things at ICC and other countries that people are picking up and responding to. But also within our own organisation and within our team, players are committed to seeing Australians being proud of the Australian cricket team and the players and how they carry themselves on and off the field,” Sutherland said.