Mark Taylor has stood down from his role as a Cricket Australia director after 18 months of turmoil in the game took its toll on the former Test captain.
Taylor’s announcement on Monday follows last week’s resignation of chairman David Peever, who fell on his sword over a damning review of the organisation’s culture.
Taylor was initially touted as a replacement for Peever, but his long-term broadcasting commitments ruled him out of the running.
“I said many months ago my next step as a Cricket Australia director was to step up or to step off the board,” Taylor said. “I had an opportunity to put my name forward as the chairman or to step off.
“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.
“I’ve got to the stage where I don’t think I can give any more.”
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He said the findings from the Longstaff review were part of his decision, but not the sole factor – last year’s pay dispute and the relationships that fractured as a result also played their part.
“I’ve just got to the end,” he said. “Over the last 13 years, but particularly the last 18 months … it’s taken its toll on me. Over the past two weeks, particularly so. I’ve lost the energy and it’s time for someone else to step up and fill my shoes.
“I sit in an interesting position as a former player, a board director and a broadcaster. It’s difficult to get the balance right. Balancing those positions is tough and it takes it out of you.”
The findings of the report, conducted by the Ethics Centre, were made public last week and found CA to have been “controlling” and “arrogant”, and allowed a win-at-all-costs mentality to develop that culminated in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
“Following on from the events in March this year that rocked the cricketing world, and the ongoing damage this created for our game, including vital employer-employee relationships, my principle brief has been to work hard at fostering and restoring a workable, meaningful and respectful understanding between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association, especially at a time when both parties were still recovering from the prolonged spirited, vigorous, and, sometimes, toxic MoU negotiations dating back to mid-2017,” Taylor said in a statement.
“As Australian cricket faces up to its latest challenge, the time therefore has arrived for me to step back and allow Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association to work from a fresh page in restoring the important values that have enabled Australia, for many years, to be recognised as one of the world’s most admired and successful cricket nations.
“My decision also removes the conflicts that have lately emerged with me striving to achieve a better working relationship between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association whilst having to address my ongoing role of reporting on cricket for the Nine Network.”
Cricket Australia’s deputy chairman, Earl Eddings, took over from Peever on an interim basis and he thanked Taylor for his contribution to cricket in Australia.
“While we would like Mark to continue as a director on the board, we appreciate his reasons and have accepted his resignation. Mark has given an enormous amount to Australian cricket over three decades as a player, captain and board member.
“While it has been a difficult few weeks for Australian cricket, the board of Cricket Australia and the executive team are committed to rebuilding and earning the trust of the cricket community.”
Taylor, 54, has generally been measured and diplomatic in his dealings as a CA board member, both private and public. But recent frustrations bubbled to the surface on Sunday when he attacked the players’ union after their recent push to have the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft lifted.
“I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to try and get a better relationship with the cricketers and the board and Cricket Australia,” Taylor said on the Nine Network. “There’s not enough people thinking about winning at all costs … from everywhere in Australian cricket.”
Taylor, Peever, coach Darren Lehmann and chief executive James Sutherland have all resigned this year, while team-performance boss Pat Howard has vowed to walk next year.
Taylor’s exit means CA’s nominations committee will have to add two new directors to the board. The new directors will be selected by a nominations committee consisting of South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) president Andrew Sinclair, Cricket Victoria chairman Paul Barker and two CA directors.
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