Ricky Ponting has been quoted (in an excellent article by Dan Brettig on the Cricinfo site) thusly when discussing Cricket Australia and the work of James Sutherland in a recent interview discussing his upcoming autobiography:
“Business-wise and the last couple years in particular you’d say CA has done a really good job with making the BBL the success they have and other things they’ve done,” Ponting said. “But it’s been at the detriment of something else. State cricket’s funding and coaches that work with them.”
“But there was no foresight at all into where we were going. Buck was always ridiculed for asking for things. He saw where the game was going to go, and all the stuff that came out with the Argus review was the stuff Buck was talking about 10 years ago, and he was shut down and almost pushed out of his job because of where he thought the game was going to go.”
“My view on selection is you only ever make a change if it’s going to make the team better,” he said. “A lot of the changes we made didn’t make the team better, and I don’t care what anybody says. The coach (Tim Nielsen) going when he did didn’t make the team better. I think a lot of the stuff that happened with the Argus review was premeditated stuff that was already in the pipeline and they put this panel together to justify it.”
Ponting has also quoted Sutherland as telling him in 2011 that:
“no one ever spends money when they are going well”
These sentiments, from Australia’s most recent great of the game and probably a batsman second only to Tendulkar in his standing in the game in this generation, are a stinging indictment on the administrators of the game in this country and, principally, the man at the top. I, and many others on social media and the blogsphere, have been calling for change in the administrative side of the game in this country and, particularly, for James Sutherland to be held account for the failings of the Australian Cricket team performance wise.
A CEO must be held accountable for the performance of his (or her) business. Anyone in the business world will tell you that financial results are important but are only one metric to be considered when judging a CEO’s performance. Whilst Sutherland has succeeded on the profitability metric can anyone tell me another metric he has succeeded on of late? The Australian Cricket team is NOT performing. The second tier of cricket in this country is a shambles and is not producing players who are capable of performing at the top level. Both of which must come back to the lack of forsight complained of by Ponting and as indicated in Sutherland’s own views.
A change MUST be made!