Australia news July 29, 2013

Respected administrator Dixon dies

Queensland cricket is in mourning over the loss of the state's long-time chief executive Graham Dixon, who succumbed to brain cancer on Saturday night at the age of 61 after a battle lasting more than a year.

Highly regarded among players, coaches and administrators for his tireless work and good sense, Dixon had formally stood down as CEO only a month ago. Starting work at the Gabba as the state's general manager in 1991 then replacing Barry Richards as CEO in 1996, his tenure coincided with Queensland's rise from years of frustrated ambitions to an era of unrivalled domestic success.

The Queensland chairman Jim Holding said Dixon had left a major imprint on the game in the state. "Graham was Queensland Cricket to many people during his time." Holding said. "He felt a strong sense of duty towards the organisation, which meant he set the tone when it came to imposing high standards and meeting or eclipsing them.

"His dedication to developing our headquarters at Allan Border Field will be a lasting legacy while the friendships and networks he forged with current and past players, fellow administrators, employees, delegates, government at all levels and the grassroots will stand QC in good stead for years to come.

"His actions endorsed his words too. I don't know of too many CEOs who would, almost without fail, be up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning to go down to Deagon to help take the covers off the pitches and assist with preparing the grounds for the day's play. Likewise, he was very modest about his own standing and stature in our game, deflecting praise and actively avoiding the spotlight to allow it to shine on those that had 'earned' it, as he would observe."

"As a group, we will miss his counsel, his generosity, his willingness to embrace innovation and think laterally. He enjoyed a challenge and his determination to achieve the 'right' result will be a loss to the game."

Since claiming their first Sheffield Shield in 1995, Queensland have won no fewer than seven titles, plus five domestic limited overs crowns. And Brisbane Heat won last summer's second edition of the Twenty20 Big Bash League.

That success could not have arrived without Dixon's assiduous work to establish a strong and stable association, including numerous key appointments such John Buchanan as state coach before the first Shield was won, and in more recent times Darren Lehmann to coach the state, a role that catapulted him towards the national job he now holds.

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, also offered a warm tribute. "Graham came to cricket administration at a local level while still in his teens, had a lengthy career as a club player and went on to be a respected state cricket association CEO through an important era for Queensland cricket," he said. "He was also a thoughtful and respected voice at the national cricket table when CA, state and territory cricket association CEO's regularly came together.

"Graham was strongly pro-Queensland but he also contributed strongly to the national reform debate that has seen Australian cricket increasingly think and act as a national game."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here