Former ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed believes Kevin Roberts “lost trust and respect” leading to his removal as Cricket Australias CEO.
On Tuesday, CA appointed Nick Hockley as its interim Chief Executive following the resignation of Roberts. Hockley is currently the Chief Executive of the ICC T20 World Cup and also oversaw the conduct of the women’s edition of the tournament earlier this year.
“It seems to me (Roberts) lost the respect and trust of the players. As an old mentor once said to me, “respect and trust are like virginity; once you’ve lost them they’re mighty hard to get back”,” Speed said on SEN radio.
“I think that’s what happened to Kevin. He lost trust and respect. When he came into the job he had time to work on that. That didn’t go very well. Then he stumbled, he didn’t deliver the message very well,” he added.
Roberts had been facing severe criticism for his handling of the shutdown since a decision to furlough about 80 per cent of staff at head office in April amid the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Speed, Hockey would be facing tough times in the road ahead and it would be like that of a rookie spinner bowling his first over to Virat Kohli on debut.
“There’s no tougher time. This is a bit like introducing a new off-spinner and asking him to bowl his first over to Virat Kohli,” Speed said.
“I don’t know Nick Hockley, I think he’s been around cricket for a while. He’s going to face many challenges here. We’re in about round six of a 15-rounder with COVID – I think that’s still the case.”
CA Chairman Earl Eddings, while announcing the appointment of Hockley, on Tuesday said the latter had earned the respect of the cricket community through his leadership of Women’s T20 World Cup and would be able to hit the ground running.
“Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and – in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19,” said Eddings.
Hockley was appointed as CEO of ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in 2017, bringing more than 13 years’ major event experience to the role.
As per Cricket Australia, he has overseen the dedicated Local Organising Committee responsible for coordinating all aspects of standalone Women’s and Men’s T20 World Cups, including marketing, ticketing, hospitality, logistics, cricket operations, volunteering and security.