Shortly after announcing about three weeks ago that he had accepted the job as chief executive of Perth-based non-profit health foundation HBF, Henderson said he intends to step down from the board at the end of this summer. was notified.
At least this time around, Henderson exits with high marks across cricket and remains on the board. As part of the process of choosing a new chair, Henderson conducted a survey from all directors and found that Baird unanimously supported his replacement.
That support was reflected in each state association. Even the South Australian Cricket Association, which appointed the highly experienced John Harnden to its board of directors, had no other idea.
Baird famously called his family, rather than his party-room colleagues, to decide whether to accept the assignment to replace Barry O’Farrell as prime minister. This time, he spoke extensively with his wife, Kellyn, before agreeing to become chairman.
Those close to Baird believe that a combination of consensus building and clear communication will characterize his approach to the role at a crucial time for Australian cricket. He is expected to speak in public more often than anyone else, ease the burden on Hockley, and become the CA’s most high-profile chairman.
In addition to managing the many relationships cricket has to maintain to thrive in Australia, Baird said India’s cashed Twenty20 league and the relentless cycle of ICC global events are like a traditional test series. Never before.
As a Liberal-aligned Christian, Baird’s appointment caused some trepidation as to whether he would support cricket’s progressive agenda. Baird is expected to operate from the social center.
He said it was urgent for cricket to become more diverse in leadership choices to better reflect the changing demographics of the country, where more young people see Usman Khawaja and Alana King as role models. And he listened intently at men’s captain Pat Cummins’ Cricket for Climate conference in Sydney earlier this year.
But Baird’s biggest challenge will be whether the game will be open to private capital investment, especially if CA fails to recover enough money from an Australian broadcasting deal due to be signed by the end of this year. At the same time, it would be remiss not to expect closer engagement with government.
Arguably, given his political background and ties to investment banking, private equity and even the Indian corporate world, Baird will explore this scenario more closely than any previous CA chair.
Key takeaways from CA’s recently announced strategy to which Baird contributed include:
Under Baird, cricket’s long-standing business model of generating revenue through broadcast rights, sponsorships and revenue from the gate is expected to be challenged.
Sports weekend news, results and expert analysis sent every Monday. Sign up for our sports newsletter.