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'I hope it stops with me': Taylor calls for end to cricket bloodletting

Posted by On 11:28 PM

'I hope it stops with me': Taylor calls for end to cricket bloodletting

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Mark Taylor has called for the bloodletting at Cricket Australia to end and the healing to begin after becoming the latest casualty of the crisis in the sport.

Four days after chairman David Peever quit, the former Test captain resigned from the CA board on Monday, saying the post had “taken its toll”, particularly in the months since the ball tampering scandal erupted and in the tumultuous past week since the release of the Longstaff ethics report.

Departing: Mark Taylor announces his resignation at the SCG on Monday.

Departing: Mark Taylor announces his resignation at the SCG on Monday.Credit:AAP

Taylor had served for 13 years in two stints as a CA director and admitted he had nearly walked away last year following the governing body’s nasty pay war with players.

His departure now leaves the strife-torn organisation not only without a permanent chairman but with two vacancies on its nine-member board.

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Behind the scenes there is an appetite among some for more blood. New chief executive Kevin Roberts, the frontman of the MOU dispute and CA’s former head of people and culture, and team performance chief Pat Howard are notable targets.

Taylor, however, believes the game must seize on an opportunity to “reset” the relationships that have been damaged over the volatile past 18 months “in the best interests of Australian cricket”.

“It hurts me a lot,” said Taylor, when asked he felt about the sport tearing itself apart. “I don’t like it, I really don’t. For the sake of [interim chairman] Earl Eddings and the board going forward, I hope it stops with me.”

The conflict of being a media commentator as well as a cricket official had been a difficult tightrope for him to traverse during the ugly pay negotiations and it was no easier to manage in the fallout from the incident at Newlands in March and the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Only on Sunday, Taylor had been critical on Channel 9 of the timing of the Australian Cricketers’ Association’s campaign to release the three players from their bans, and on Monday added that it “could be seen as divisive”.

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At the same time he also admitted the handling of the Longstaff report â€" which wasn’t shown to states before they re-elected Peever for another three years on October 25 and wasn’t released publicly until last Monday â€" had been damaging.

“There is no doubt that the timing was regrettable,” Taylor said. “A lot of people were concerned about what was going to be in that Longstaff report.

“In hindsight we’d have been better off saying ‘all right, let’s push the AGM back a bit’ and let people read it and then make some decisions from then on. I’m not sure if the outcome would have been any different â€" I don’t think it would have been any different for me, I know that. I knew a couple of weeks ago it was time to move on. I just had to get the timing right.”

The players’ union was quick to praise Taylor on Monday. “What is largely unknown to the public, were Mark’s behind the scenes efforts to resolve last year's MOU dispute,” the ACA executive said in a statement. “His common sense and goodwill were instrumental and we thank him for this.”

Eddings credited Taylor for his "significant role in helping build and shape relationships within the cricket community".

The CA board must now decide whether to elect a chairman from within the ranks of its remaining members or wait until tw o new directors â€" a delegate from NSW to replace Taylor and an independent to replace Peever â€" have joined them before naming a new figurehead.

It is the board’s policy to have two former Test cricketers sitting as directors at any one point so there will be a desire to have another ex-player join fellow director Michael Kasprowicz.

“I think there’s a good opportunity for a women’s cricketer,” Taylor said. “I know there’s someone like Alex Blackwell, who’s on the board of Cricket NSW. Belinda Clark, who works at Cricket Australia, although she’s doing a very fine job there. I see people like Simon Katich talked about a lot â€" and I’m probably leaving out half a dozen.”

The board is likely to be reluctant to have a new director who also has media commitments.

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  • Ball tampering
  • Australia
  • Cricket Australia
  • David Peever
Chris Barrett
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Chris Barrett is a Sports Writer with The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia

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