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Eddings the great divider survives for now

Simpson later explained that as a director of Cricket Australia, Rowell’s duty was to support what he believed to be in the best interests of Australian cricket, rather than represent the interests of his state.

“We strongly disagree,” Simpson said of the Queensland Cricket position.

Allowing Eddings to go out in a blaze of Ashes glory saved an ugly showdown at next month’s annual meeting.

It also took out the possibility of Western Australia withdrawing its support. Having been denied an India Test last summer and losing Australia’s inaugural Test against Afghanistan, Perth is the most likely to lose a Test again this summer.

Cricket Australia sources have already began to privately acknowledge that should Western Australia’s hard quarantine stance remain come January, a second Test may be played in Sydney, or it may be moved to Canberra.

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Eddings has been briefing heavily against NSW since Australia’s most successful cricket state refused to make large cuts demanded by Cricket Australia last year despite inadequate financial detail.

He became so angry with NSW refusing to accept the cuts he told a meeting of the board and senior CA management to “ignore them, isolate them”, according to multiple people who were in the meeting.

At the same meeting, board member Michelle Tredenick said, “The states need to know who’s running cricket”, according to the same sources.

The opposition of Eddings and Tredenick to NSW reached farcical levels when, as members of CA’s nominations committee, they rejected Baird because he lacked “governance experience” according to multiple sources.

It took CA two days to sort the mess out and accept Baird’s nomination.

Asked for a response, a Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “As has always been the case, we do not discuss confidential board matters publicly.”

At the height of CA’s pandemic panic, Eddings threw CEO Kevin Roberts under the bus. Roberts and his senior management team had presented a wait-and-see proposal to the board at the end of the previous season, given it was the off-season and the next major payment was not due until September.

However, this was rejected by the board, with Tredenick demanding Roberts “cut hard and cut now” according to multiple people in the meeting.

Demands for a 50 percent cut, which would have destroyed cricket in Australia, were rejected by the states, so CA proposed a 25 percent cut, which prompted savage job-cutting by some. NSW and Queensland held firm and eventually a 12.5 percent cut was agreed for the sake of unity.

Speaking on behalf of the Cricket Australia board, the head of CA’s Audit and Risk Committee, Paul Green, said he could not recall specific comments made at board meetings and the board made decisions as a whole.

Green claimed that Roberts never presented a plan but a “perspective” to the board.

“What we were trying to do was support the states through their own planning,” he said.

When Australia lost last summer’s Test series against India, the selectors reduced the player list from 20 to 17, meaning three players lost handsome six-figure contracts. And after Roberts was sacked, other executives and up to 40 staff were also pushed out the door.

But the Cricket Australia board has never taken accountability. Eddings should have been the first to go. Instead, Australian cricket has continued to endorse mediocrity.

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