James Sutherland stepped down as Cricket Australia chief executive last month. Photo: EPA

SYDNEY – Australian cricket’s embattled governing body named Earl Eddings to lead the organisation out of crisis on Wednesday, opting for a safe pair of hands already serving on the board.

Cricket Australia said in a statement that it had bumped Eddings – a director of a risk management company – from deputy and interim chairman to have the role fulltime.

“I am honoured to serve in this position and am committed to making cricket stronger and a game that we can all be proud of,” Eddings said.

Cricket Australia has been buffeted by a series of bad performances by the men’s Test side, after a ball-tampering scandal saw the captain and vice captain stood down for cheating.

Amid the fallout from the fiasco, former chairman David Peever also quit under intense pressure. 

The sport’s top body had been under some pressure to appoint a former Australian player. 

But likely replacement ex-captain Mark Taylor recently quit the board, while CA director and ex-fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz was overlooked.

The board instead opted for “a well-regarded member of the team with a solid understanding of our history,” said director Jacquie Hey.

“Earl’s involvement over the past decade provides continuity in a time of change,” she added.

In March, top players were caught using sandpaper to alter the ball at a Test match in Cape Town.

Then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were banned for 12 months, and batsman Cameron Bancroft for nine months over their roles in the incident.

Coach Darren Lehmann quit soon after and then-chief executive James Sutherland stepped down last month.

A Cricket Australia commissioned report, found an “arrogant” and “controlling” culture within the organisation contributed to players cheating in the pursuit of victory.

AFP