Cricket: Cricket-Hockley confirmed as Australia board chief after ‘impossible summer’


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Nick Hockley has been confirmed as Cricket Australia’s permanent Chief Executive after steering the game through an “impossible summer” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Englishman, previously the chief organiser of Australia’s postponed Twenty20 World Cup, was appointed interim CEO last June after Kevin Roberts resigned amid growing criticism of the board’s performance during the health crisis.

“I think what we’ve seen him deliver over the impossible summer, in some respects, him working with Australian cricket was able to deliver an outstanding result,” CA Chairman Earl Eddings told reporters on Monday.

Australia’s test series against India, hugely vital for the domestic game in terms of revenues, was staged in a biosecure bubble and went off without a hitch despite an outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney that threatened to disrupt the third match.

Hockley faces further challenges, including working on a new collective bargaining agreement with players.

The last negotiations became acrimonious in 2017 after CA attempted to replace a long-standing revenue-sharing model with the players.

The players union refused to budge and CA was forced into a humiliating retreat before the pay deal was signed.

Hockley said relations with the players were sound.

“We’re already starting to talk about what’s important to the playing group, what’s important to the game and those discussions will continue in the upcoming months,” he said.

“I think we’re starting from a really strong footing.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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