Former Ashes foe a shock contender for top Aussie job
Influential figures in Australian cricket have sounded out former England captain Andrew Strauss in the belief he should be the next chief executive at Cricket Australia.
Embattled chief executive Kevin Roberts resigned after 19 months in the job on Tuesday as dissatisfaction grew over his handling of the financial issues created by COVID-19.
CA laid off 40 staff on Wednesday including men's batting coach Graeme Hick. The organisation claimed the redundancies and other cuts will save $40m in the next financial year.
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Englishman Nick Hockley has been appointed interim CEO, but the organisation said it would be launching a global search for a full-time replacement to fill that role.
Appointing the South African-born Strauss to the role would provoke a kneejerk reaction from parochial members of the local cricket community but Strauss has an impressive CV and spent many years in Australia playing cricket.
A veteran of 100 Tests, he is university educated, knighted and impressed when appointed to the role as ECB Director of Cricket in 2015.
CA indicated on Tuesday it would launch an international search for the right person to replace Roberts.
"One of the most important roles of the board is to appoint a CEO," said chairman Earl Eddings.
"And that's our role to do that. We'll take our time and do an extensive search here and overseas. In the meantime, we have an outstanding candidate in Nick who can run the show in the meantime. I think that's one of the most important things as a board that we do."
Cricket Australia launched a global search to replace James Sutherland who stood down in late 2018 and landed on then chief operating officer Roberts. The decision was controversial with many believing former NSW CEO John Warn was the right candidate.
It is widely accepted that then chairman David Peever leaned on the board to appoint Roberts who had been his lead man in the industrial campaign against the players in the MOU dispute the previous year.
Not many outsiders get a chance in Australian cricket, although South African Mickey Arthur was coach from 2010 until his sacking in 2013.
Strauss married Ruth McDonald, an Australian he met while playing for Sydney University in 1998-99 and subsequently returned to play two years at Manly before the couple settled in England.
The left-handed opening batsman stood down from the role as England's director of cricket in October 2018 to spend more time with McDonald who had a rare form of lung cancer. The mother of their two children died in December of that year and Strauss followed Glenn McGrath's Sydney pink Test lead by launching a red day at the Lord's Test during last year's Ashes series.
Strauss always acknowledged the influence playing club cricket in Australia had on his development.
"I enjoyed the Aussie attitude to cricket," he said. "They played an ego-driven form of the game in which admitting to weakness was akin to admitting having an affair with your brother's wife."
Originally published as Former Ashes foe a shock contender for top Aussie job