Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has resigned.
CA’s board accepted Peever’s resignation, which came three days after he vowed to continue despite immense pressure created by a scathing independent report of the governing body, on Thursday’s hastily-arranged conference call.
Earl Eddings, who was appointed CA’s deputy chairman and heir apparent at last week’s annual general meeting (AGM), has been installed as interim chairman.
“The board is keenly aware that we have a way to go to earn back the trust of the cricket community,” Eddings said in a statement, thanking Peever for his service.
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It’s understood as late as Thursday morning, Peever was reassured he has the “full support” of states, but a series of calls then put the wheels in motion for change at the top.
Those agitating for change made it clear to Peever he no longer had their backing and the former Rio Tinto Australia boss accepted he should step down without the need for a formal coup.
Peever was unanimously re-elected at CA’s AGM on Friday, at which point state associations were yet to have read The Ethics Centre’s review.
Peever offered his resignation earlier this year, after calling the Ten Network “bottom feeders” in an email to its US network chiefs that was later leaked, but it was rejected by CA’s board.
The appetite for change has since grown significantly, especially after Monday’s review described CA as arrogant, dictatorial, controlling, disrespectful, hypocritical and responsible for the normalisation of verbal abuse.
Peever then referred to the Cape Town cheating scandal as a “hiccup” in an ABC interview, much to the disgust of former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed and former chairman Bob Merriman.
Peever, who also came under pressure to resign after overseeing last year’s ugly pay dispute, had been the most high-profile survivor at the governing body of those who were in charge during the ball-tampering furore.
Captain Steve Smith was sacked then coach Darren Lehmann resigned in tears after watching Smith’s emotional press conference at Sydney airport.
Chief executive James Sutherland’s 17-year tenure ended last week, when he passed the baton onto Kevin Roberts.
Speed and Merriman have both called on long-serving board member Mark Taylor to replace Peever as chairman.
Former skipper Taylor’s promotion is no fait accompli.
Eddings, John Harnden, chief executive of the 2015 World Cup and 2006 Commonwealth Games, and Jacquie Hey, who became CA’s first female board member in 2012, are other obvious candidates on the current board.
Those states backing Peever cited fears a power vacuum could have a damaging and destabilising effect at the start of summer as part of the reason for their stance.