Jacquie Hey, Cricket Australia's first female director, is expected exit the board this year in the wake of Michael Kasprowicz's resignation. CA's nominations committee will now have to search for fresh talent, including possible candidates to become the next chairperson after Earl Eddings.
Ever since Hey took on considerable responsibilities as the chair of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank last year, it has been increasingly likely that she would depart CA, as the new role also made it highly unlikely she could devote enough time to the sport.
Meanwhile, Kasprowicz was not due for re-election as a CA director until next year. His formal resignation on Wednesday evening means at least two new directors will now need to be found on a nominations committee this year comprising Eddings, New South Wales chairman John Knox and Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin.
As one of the best-credentialled corporate figures in Australia, Hey also serves as a director of Qantas and the energy company AGL. She will be a significant loss to the CA board after she joined 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 shifting the governing body from a 14-member representative board to a nine-person independent model.
The other two directors anointed that day, David Peever and Kevin Roberts, have gone on to infamous places in history. Peever was pushed out as chairman in 2018 and Roberts was compelled to resign as chief executive earlier this year amid disputes about the game's finances in the time of coronavirus. Meanwhile, Hey has served diligently and well.
This was particularly true in the highly difficult task of chairing the committee responsible for ushering the damaging post-Newlands cultural review into public airing. On the day of its release, Hey sat alongside Peever in a tense press conference at the MCG and stepped in to answer questions on his behalf several times. It was a luxury he would not have later that day when facing an excoriating interview by the ABC's Leigh Sales on the 730 program that helped encourage the NSW board to withdraw its support and force his resignation.
There is perhaps an alternative history of CA where Hey became the chair after Wally Edwards instead of Peever in 2015, but instead she was to rise to the chair of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Australia's fifth largest retail bank in 2019, while continuing to work closely alongside Eddings.
Kasprowicz was in the audience on the day the culture review was released, and has cut a curious figure since 2011 when he joined the board after a year as the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) president. Ostensibly offering a players' perspective, he backed Peever and Roberts in their attempt to end the revenue sharing model with the ACA in 2017, and is believed to have been likely to be departing the board - one way or another - for some months.
"As I did on the field, I believe I have given absolutely everything to this position and over the years have enjoyed the opportunity to represent every stakeholder of cricket in this country," Kasprowicz said. "The experience has been an honour and an absolute privilege, but now is the right time for me to step down."
Among other directors, the KPMG executive Paul Green is up for re-election after he replaced Tony Harrison midway through his predecessor's term in 2018, but is highly probable to remain due to strong support from the Tasmanian board.
Richard Freudenstein, who similarly was appointed to replace Mark Taylor midway through his term after the former Australian captain also quit the board in the wake of the 2018 culture review, may also stay on. His broadcast expertise, particularly, will become more relevant as CA enters the concluding half of its six-year rights deal with Fox Sports and Seven next year.
Kasprowicz's departure will leave CA without a former male player on the board, with Mel Jones being appointed as Victoria's director last year. Eddings, who has been central to discussions at ICC level in addition to CA's own covid-19 misadventures, has another year to run at the head of the organisation, and it is not yet known whether he wishes to attempt to serve a second term as chair.
"Michael has been a servant of Australian Cricket as a former International player, ACA President, Interim CEO of Queensland Cricket and a member of the Board for eight years," Eddings said of Kasprowicz. "He is a long-standing member of the cricket family and we thank him for his contribution."