Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday appointed Nick Hockley as its interim Chief Executive following the resignation of Kevin Roberts. Hockley is currently the Chief Executive of the ICC T20 World Cup and also oversaw the conduct of the women's edition of the tournament earlier this year.
"It's been a privilege to lead and serve the sport I love as CEO of Cricket Australia. Our team of staff and players are outstanding people who contribute so much to the game and I'm proud of what we've achieved together," Roberts said in an official statement.
"I'd like to thank the army of volunteers in communities across the country who are the lifeblood of our sport, enabling kids to experience the game and to dream about emulating their heroes in our national teams.
"As a lifelong and passionate member of the cricket community, I look forward to seeing the game thrive into the future," he added.
Cricket Australia has parted ways with CEO Kevin Roberts, the governing body confirmed today.https://t.co/xTl7EyDZsP— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) June 16, 2020
Roberts has been facing severe criticism for his handling of the shutdown since a decision to furlough about 80 per cent of staff at head office in April amid the COVID-19 crisis.
CA's chairman Earl Eddings thanked Robert for his services, also adding that the board will conduct an international search for a suitable candidate to replace him as cricket makes a return post the COVID-19 strike.
"Kevin has worked tirelessly since taking on the role in difficult circumstances in 2018, and particularly during the challenges of the past few months," Eddings said. "He is a man of principle who has always put the best interests of cricket first. We wish him all the best for his future.
Eddings said Hockley had earned the respect of the cricket community through his leadership of T20 World Cup and would be able to hit the ground running.
"Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and – in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19," said Eddings.
"The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been – and will continue to be necessary – to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future.
"It is essential that Cricket Australia continues to provide strong leadership and works constructively with everyone who has an interest in the future of the game – the players, all employees, the state associations, commercial partners and supporters."
"We are optimistic about cricket's present and its future and, together with our partners across the states and territories and the players, we look forward to hosting a summer of cricket that will be great for the game and great for the nation," he added.
Roberts, who previously served as the chief operating officer at CA, had won the job of running Australian cricket following the departure of James Sutherland in October 2018. The 47-year-old was contracted until the end of next year.
After Todd Greenberg (NRL) and Raelene Castle (Rugby Australia), Roberts has become the third CEO of a major Australian sporting code who has been shown the door in the past two months.