Jacquie Hey, the first female director of Cricket Australia, is expected to leave the board this year following the resignation of Michael Kasprowicz. The CA Nominations Committee will now need to seek out new talent, including potential candidates to become the next chairman after Earl Eddings.
Since Hey took on considerable responsibilities as President of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank last year, it is increasingly likely that she is leaving CA, as the new role also made it highly unlikely that she would be able to devote enough time to the sport.
Meanwhile, Kasprowicz was not due for re-election as CA director until next year. His formal resignation on Wednesday evening means at least two new directors will now have to sit on a nominations committee this year that includes Eddings, New South Wales President John Knox, and Tasmanian President Andrew Gaggin.
As one of Australia’s most recognized personalities, Hey is also a director of Qantas and energy company AGL. She will represent a significant loss to CA’s board of directors following her membership as one of its first three independent directors at the 2012 AGM. Her entry came in the wake of governance reforms recommended by David Crawford and Colin Carter, which involved moving the governing body from a representative council of 14 members to an independent model of nine.
The two other anointed directors that day, David Peever and Kevin Roberts, visited infamous places in history. Peever was kicked out of his post as chairman in 2018, and Roberts was forced to resign as chief executive earlier this year amid disputes over the finances of the game during the coronavirus era. During this time, Hey served diligently and well.
This was especially true in the very difficult task of chairing the committee charged with launching post-Newlands cultural criticism detrimental to public dissemination. On the day of his release, Hey sat alongside Peever in a tense press conference at MCG and stepped in to answer questions on his behalf on several occasions. It was a luxury he wouldn’t have later in the day in the face of an excoriating ABC’s Leigh Sales interview on the 730 programs that helped encourage the NSW board to withdraw its support and to force his resignation.
There may be an alternate CA story where Hey became president after Wally Edwards instead of Peever in 2015, but instead, she was to become president of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the fifth largest retail bank in the world Australia in 2019, while continuing to work closely together.
Kasprowicz was in public on the day the cultural review was published and has made a curious figure since 2011 when he joined the board after a year as chairman of the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA). Ostensibly offering the players’ perspective, he supported Peever and Roberts in their attempt to end the revenue-sharing model with the ACA in 2017, and would likely have left the board – in some way or another. ‘another – for a few months.
“As I have done on the pitch, I believe I have given absolutely everything in this position and, over the years, have taken the opportunity to represent all the players in cricket in this country,” Kasprowicz said. “The experience has been an absolute honor and privilege, but now is the right time for me to step down.”
Among the other directors, KPMG executive Paul Green is set to be re-elected after replacing Tony Harrison halfway through his predecessor’s term in 2018, but it is very likely that he will remain so due to strong support from the Tasmanian Board of Directors.
Richard Freudenstein, who was also named to replace Mark Taylor midway through his tenure after the former Australian captain also stepped down from the board following the 2018 culture review, may also remain. Its broadcast expertise, in particular, will become more relevant as CA concludes half of its six-year rights deal with Fox Sports and Seven next year.
Kasprowicz’s departure will leave California without a former male player on the board, with Mel Jones having been appointed manager of Victoria last year. Eddings, who has played a central role in the ICC-level talks in addition to the AC COVID-19’s own misadventures, has one more year to run as head of the organization, and it’s not yet clear if he wishes to attempt a second term as chair.
“Michael has been a staunch servant of Australian Cricket as a former international player, chairman of the ACA, interim CEO of Queensland Cricket and a board member for eight years,” Kasprowicz added. “He is a long time member of the cricket family, and we thank him for his contribution.”