Efforts to change the perception of the Australian men’s team have resulted in point fires among national associations, a confused response to COVID-19 that withstood a public campaign by free-to-air channel Seven, and an erosion of CA’s global reputation among the less financially secure Nations of the game.

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It was exhausting, but CA is still standing. For the first time since the World Series Cricket split in the late 1970s, that alone is commendable. Maintaining a full women’s program and increasing efforts to increase the variety of the game are other notable efforts.

But the grueling struggles of the past three years, which will culminate when Eddings is re-elected for another term of indefinite term at CA’s annual general meeting on Thursday – against the protests of NSW and Queensland Cricket – really must end. CA must surely find a new presence on the board within the next year that can emerge from the power struggles. Someone who demands respect instead of demanding it.

Wylie did not speak as a completely disinterested observer in March 2018. At the time, he was vice president of the Melbourne Stars, a role in which Wylie was instrumental in setting up the men’s competition and inducting the WBBL in 2015.

Nothing embodied the struggles of the time better than what happened next. Wylie and a host of other notable figures were pushed aside when Cricket Victoria dissolved the boards of directors of the Stars and Renegades and waived their CEOs in 2019. CV claimed that as “mature” clubs their leaders were no longer necessary. But the subsequent mishaps of the state suggest that the BBL board members should have had a say more, not less.

As of 2021, Wylie has retired from his tenure as chairman of both Sport Australia and the State Library of Victoria, roles in which – whatever John Coates of the Australian Olympic Committee may think – he did more good than harm. CA must take his possible availability into account when succeeding Eddings.

Wylie was born and raised in Queensland, studied business in Great Britain and the United States, known in Sydney and now made her home in Melbourne. Wylie understands the game and the nation. Its ability to open doors for cricket across the country would be considerable. Nor would he tolerate mediocrity. Whether Wylie would submit to the whims of the CA’s nomination committee is another question.

Since the departure of the old system of direct representation by the states in 2012, the board structure of CA has been plagued by arguments over nominees. These political struggles do not always encourage the best possible candidates.

People like Wylie, former Australian captain Belinda Clark, or the pre-eminent chairman of the CA Indigenous Advisory Committee, Justin Mohamed, would all make important contributions as strategic leaders of cricket. Eddings and the other survivors before Newlands on the board, Michelle Tredenick and John Harnden, would improve their legacy by making a passage easier.

What Australian cricket needs most is unity, vision and prudent risk-taking – decisions made in the best interests of the game and its place in the Australian and global community, decisions made without the baggage of Newlands and the reactive years that followed to be hit.

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