Cricket Australia Engages Biggest Governance Reform in 107 Years

Cricket Australia will appoint three independent directors to a streamlined board in what it said was the biggest restructure in the governing body’s 107-year history.

The 14-member board will be cut to nine, with six other directors coming from Australia’s state associations. The new board will meet for the first time on Oct. 26, Melbourne-based Cricket Australia said in a statement after today’s extraordinary general meeting.

“Australian cricket needs a governance that the modern sport deserves as a highly professional, major player in the global sport and entertainment arena,” said Cricket Australia Chairman Wally Edwards, who will be one of the state-appointed directors alongside John Bannon, Earl Eddings, Harry Harinath, Michael Kasprowicz and Tony Harrison.

The reforms come after former Australian Football League commissioner Colin Carter and David Crawford were asked to recommend changes to modernize an organization that was founded in 1905. Australia’s national squad set up was revamped last year following a performance review after it slipped from first to fifth in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings. The team has since rebounded to the No. 2 spot.

It’s no longer appropriate for Cricket Australia to act as a collection of state bodies, Edwards said.

“We are increasingly thinking and acting as one unified national sport facing increasing competition for the public’s attention and support,” he said.

A nominations committee including Edwards, South Australian Cricket Association President Ian McLachlan, and ex-BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) Chairman Don Argus will identify and recommend three independent directors to join the board, Cricket Australia said.

“The time has come to cut the size of the CA board and to bring in outside directors,” McLachlan, a former Australian defense minister, said in a statement. “The tenure of debate has been sophisticated and extremely positive.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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