SYDNEY – Former Test captain Mark Taylor quit as a Cricket Australia director Monday, saying he had “lost the energy” to continue after a torrid time sparked by the ball-tampering scandal and a scathing review into the governing body.
He becomes the latest top figure to exit the embattled organisation following chief executive James Sutherland and chairman David Peever.
Taylor was only last week floated as a potential successor to Peever, with the sport in desperate need of inspired leadership after the damning independent review blamed CA's “arrogant” and “controlling” culture as contributing to players cheating in the pursuit of victory.
He ruled himself out, citing a conflict of interest, having recently signed a new contract with broadcaster Channel Nine which has the rights to the World Cup and Ashes series in 2019.
And Taylor, who served 13 years on the board, has now decided to split from CA altogether and give it a clean slate to restore its reputation.
“I've just got to the end. Particularly over the last 18 months, there's been a lot in this role as a director of Cricket Australia and it's taken its toll on me,” he told reporters. “I don't think I can give any more. I've lost the energy and I think it's time for someone else to step up and fill my shoes.”
Since Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for trying to alter the ball with sandpaper in a South Africa Test in March, Taylor has been at the forefront of working to restore relations between CA and the players' union.
But now is the right time to “allow Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association to work from a fresh page”.
“I said many months ago that my next step as a Cricket Australia director was either to step up or step off the board,” he said. “I had an opportunity at this time to put my name forward as a chairman, or step off.
“That's where I got to and I think I've made the right move in the interests of Australian cricket to step off and give some other, hopefully, former player an opportunity to add some fresh ideas to this role as a director of Cricket Australia.”
While the cheating row has dominated his time as director this year, Taylor was also heavily involved last year in a bruising and protracted pay dispute between CA and the ACA.
The bad-tempered stand-off rumbled on for months, rattling the game and straining the players' relationship with the governing body.
Interim CA chairman Earl Eddings admitted he had hoped the respected Taylor, who played in 104 Tests, would remain on the board.
“Mark has played a significant role in helping build and shape relationships within the cricket community, specifically with players past and present,” he said.
“In his role as director he has always worked collaboratively with key parties to put the interests of Australian cricket first.
It's been an honour to have an icon of Australian cricket serving on the board of Cricket Australia.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)