NSW news January 14, 2013

Gilbert jumps from New South Wales job


Dave Gilbert has jumped from the position of Cricket New South Wales chief executive, denying recent instability at the association and calls for his sacking by Brett Lee had hastened his decision.

Following a special board meeting at the association's headquarters at the SCG, Gilbert handed in his resignation, stating he had been considering his position for some months.

"After 11 successful years, I am now at the point where I am ready to take on a new challenge," Gilbert said. "This is not a sudden decision - it is something I have been contemplating over the past 12 months. As far as recent commentary is concerned, it comes with the job - and I've never shied away from it.

"The simple truth is that I've been in the role for much longer than most sports administrators could ever dream of. Now that the busiest period of the season has passed, I feel it is right to give the Board ample time and opportunity to search for my replacement.

"I have enjoyed many memorable times in the role and it will be sad to leave behind a fantastic team of people who work for a great organisation. I wish them and the game of cricket in NSW the very best for the future."

Having held the role of CEO at Australian cricket's largest state association since 2001 after being similarly employed with Surrey in England, Gilbert's position was unsteadied by a series of missteps dating back to the decision to take on a new captain and coach simultaneously at the start of the 2011-12 season.

Anthony Stuart was hired as NSW coach ahead of the more experienced Trevor Bayliss, who was keen on resuming the role he had filled before coaching Sri Lanka, while the Australian captain Michael Clarke replaced Simon Katich as state captain, with Steve O'Keefe as his deputy.

The Blues struggled through a nightmarish summer, and Bayliss enjoyed great success as coach of the Sydney Sixers in the BBL. Results improved somewhat at the start of this season, but Stuart's removal as coach in December had the unintended effect of casting harsher light on Gilbert.

At this point Lee weighed in with heavy public criticism of Gilbert and the association, his words backed up privately by plenty of other former players. Lee was reported for detrimental public comment, but emerged from his hearing with a place on a NSW board subcommittee formed to allow ex-players to suggest how the state's performance might be improved.

This represented a major setback for Gilbert's authority, particularly after Lee refused to indicate any support for the CEO following their compromise. A tenure that had been quietly successful for much of its 11-year journey was thus drawn to an end in some acrimony.

The association chairman Harry Harinath spoke warmly of Gilbert's contribution to the state. "David has overseen a period of tremendous growth and development for cricket throughout NSW," he said. "During his time in charge, participation in the game has increased by 130% and revenue has trebled. The percentage of NSW- originated players in Australia's male and female Test teams are higher than at any time in the past 30 years.

"He is responsible for a number of important achievements that have benefited both those who play the game and those who watch. These include bringing international cricket to ANZ Stadium and extending our footprint throughout the key growth area of Western Sydney with the development of Blacktown International Sportspark."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on January 15, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    @ CricketPervert on (January 14 2013, 10:09 AM GMT) - it is a bit presumptious. @ Chris_P on (January 14 2013, 12:16 PM GMT) - I know back in the late 80s & early 90s, regional cricket in NSW had some great regional comps, that had sponsorship & seemed to be successful, but stopped running, not sure if that is still the case. I reckon the standard of those matches was very near 1st Grade Sydney standard. So as those comps ceased before Gilbert came on Board, I wonder if it has been a systematic problem that goes beyond just one bloke?

  • Michael on January 14, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    How the hell can David Gilbert say he has had 11 successful years as CEO of CricketNSW .Considering that NSW has had very little success, if any, within domestic cricket over the last 11 years. Not surprised though as this is coming from a man who was not good enough to play for NSW at state level, so he went to play for Tasmania instead. While we're at it, how about the head of CNSW High Performance Unit hand in his resignation as well. Pat Howard was a 'B' grade rugby player at best.......so what does he know about cricket high performance, begs the question.

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    I am an expatriate for 25 years and followed NSW cricket even before migrating. Only in Cricket, I am anti Aussie but pro NSW and admird Katich very much. Gilbert waiting 11yrs is long enough to become arrogant. From all accounts he was undoing all the good work he did.

    Ranjan Rodrigo

  • david on January 14, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    so long as we dont get him back in the uk.

  • Andross on January 14, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Just letting everyone know first, I'm from Victoria so I only know what's been reported in the media at the end of last year: "...been considering it for some months..."? who's he trying to kid? Why on earth would a person decide, halfway through the season decide, that they've had enough and want to step down? You wouldn't, you'd wait until the end of the season, and announce it privately to the association so that they can find a replacement for you. I'm afraid I lost any respect for Cricket NSW when they decided to charge Lee with 'bringing the game into disrepute' for his comments, a more obvious 'back off or else' you couldn't hope to find. If this Gilbert guy decided to quit just now, 'quite by coincidence', I'll eat my hat.

  • Peter on January 14, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @Meety. On an administration role, he has done some things have put back cricket, especially in the country. I, for one, am glad to see him go as some of his decisions have been very much against the current association I play in. Hopefully this will be published.

  • Peter on January 14, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    @jimbobla. I thought it was too, but it's not, i';s actually Gilbert! He does look the spitting image of O'Farrell though, he could pass as his twin.

  • Michael on January 14, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    The Brett Lee not guilty decision made Gilbert's position untenable. I'm sure he has done his best for NSW but it was time to go.

  • James on January 14, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    The pic is of the current premier Barry O'Farrell btw yo

  • Roo on January 14, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    This is the best news that I have heard for decades - probably the worst example of cricket management in SS over the last 10 years... Glad Brett Lee (among many others) has been finally vindicated...

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