‘Transparent’ new era for Cricket Aust

Oliver Caffrey |

New Cricket Australia chair Lachlan Henderson has declared a new era of transparency for the beleaguered board.

Henderson is CA’s third chair in five months, replacing interim leader Richard Freudenstein who took over from Earl Eddings after he resigned in October.

Eddings had lost crucial support from NSW and Queensland, making his position untenable.

CA has come under-fire recently, first for its handling of the Tim Paine sexting scandal in November, then Justin Langer’s exit as Australian coach this month.

Henderson admitted the board did not get everything right in the lead-up to Langer’s resignation, which came after the Australian cricket great was only offered a six-month contract extension.

Leaked details of a meeting between Langer, CA chief executive Nick Hockley and high-performance manager Ben Oliver were strongly denied by the cricketing body at the time.

“It got messy in terms of things playing out in the media,” Henderson said.

“I would like to acknowledge the role that (Langer’s) played.

“He’ll no doubt have a period of rest and recovery in WA now that he’s out of quarantine.

“I reached out to him by text in that period, we had a text conversation and I’d also love to have a conversation with him in the weeks ahead.

“My communication style will be open, transparent and hopefully consistent.

“Within the bounds of the confidentiality of boards, I hope there’s a really open and transparent way forward.”

Henderson will also reach out to former players such as Matthew Hayden and Mitchell Johnson, who were scathing of CA’s treatment of Langer.

Henderson, who is Epworth Healthcare’s chief executive, has been on the CA board since late 2018, having previously served as WACA chair before moving to Melbourne in 2017.

Henderson has a rich history of involvement in cricket in Western Australia.

He pointed to the board now having seven of nine members who were not there during and before the infamous ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

Henderson is determined to soon appoint an ethics commissioner to build on a review conducted after the Cape Town fiasco.

“The board has overseen and monitored those recommendations over the three-year period since,” he said.

“We’ve endorsed and implemented about 90 per cent of those recommendations and one that is outstanding and I’m keen to move on is the role of the Ethics Commissioner. 

“That appointment will be made early in my term as chair.”

Freudenstein will continue as a director on the CA board.

“(Henderson) brings a combination of fresh ideas, a clear plan and broad experience together with continuity to the position, having served as a CA director for the past three years,” Freudenstein said.

“The short-list of candidates for this role was outstanding but it was the unanimous opinion of the CA board that Lachlan was best suited to be our next chair.”