Longtime Cricket Australia ally and Credit Suisse chief executive John Knox is the new chairman of Cricket New South Wales, after the incumbent John Warn chose to retire from a role he has held since 2013.
Warn, a Westfield executive who became chairman amid a period of instability and the exits of Harry Harinath as chairman and David Gilbert as chief executive, had since overseen the association's growth alongside the CEO Andrew Jones. Through his stint, he's had to deal with numerous spot-fires, including a rocky relationship with the SCG Trust and last year's pay dispute between the players, CA and the state associations. He will remain a NSW director while spending more time with family.
NSW recently appointed Phil Jaques to replace Trent Johnston as coach of the state team following an underwhelming recent run of results on the field and questions about talent development. Australia's most populous cricket state played its most recent Sheffield Shield final in 2014.
"I have been honoured, proud and humbled to be Cricket NSW Chair. I retire as Chair with great confidence in CNSW's future," Warn said. "The time is right for me to invest time back into my family, and pass the reins to John Knox. There is no doubt the challenge for me of balancing work, cricket and young family has been at times a difficult task, but one that I cherish as I love the game so much - I owe the game everything.
"I make this decision with my family first, everything else second. The board and I responsibly had a strong succession plan in place, and I would like to formally thank my fellow board members, Cricket NSW Staff, especially CEO Andrew Jones, and all delegate members for their support."
Knox, meanwhile, has been involved in numerous key junctures of CA's recent history, notably playing an important advisory role in the television rights negotiations of 2013 and this year. The 2013 deal created competition in the marketplace for the first time, as Nine were compelled to pay more than it preferred for the rights to international cricket after Ten made a combined bid for all matches including the Big Bash League. This year's bid took CA's broadcast rights value beyond the A$1 billion mark for the first time, albeit with the loss of two out of three international men's formats from free-to-air television.
Prior to those two deals, Knox was influential in drafting the private ownership prospectus for Big Bash League franchises in 2010-11 that ultimately saw CA retain ownership of all teams. He joined the NSW Board in 2014. "I am honoured to have been elected chair of the most successful domestic organisation in world cricket and thank the Cricket NSW Board for its support," Knox said.
"John retires as Chair with NSW Cricket in excellent shape. Much of that is due to his outstanding leadership over the past 5 years. From Day 1 he drove very significant renewal and growth, working in partnership with all players, staff and Directors and our CEO Andrew Jones. This growth has occurred in every area of our operation.
"Our professional teams have won every available title in the past five years, including a Sheffield Shield, BBL, two JLT Cups, four WNCLs and four WBBL/WT20s. Meanwhile NSW has regularly provided over half of Australia's Test teams, including eight of the top-ranked male and female players in the world.
"We also led the professionalisation of the Lendlease NSW Breakers in 2016, a landmark moment for cricket and indeed for Australian sport. At pathway level, we have doubled the opportunities for NSW Metro and ACT-NSW Country cricketers while still winning 85% of the titles available. And in community cricket, NSW has passed 400,000 participants for the first time."
Knox also pointed to governance reforms as part of Warn's legacy. "John has also overseen significant governance reform which has allowed us to increase the quality and diversity of our Board without compromising our members' rights to choose their representatives," he said. "John has done all this through a signature combination of integrity, hard work and respect for all NSW Cricket stakeholders.
"Our Directors are still volunteers and John has given thousands of hours of his time on top of a demanding job and busy family life. He deserves our warmest thanks and congratulations for an outstanding contribution to NSW cricket."