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Managing three forms of cricket a balancing act according to Sutherland

Outgoing Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland says finding the balance between Test, ODI and T20 cricket is one of the biggest challenges for the head body moving forward.

Sutherland announced his resignation at a press conference on Wednesday morning and confirmed he will finish up in the role – which he’s held since 2001 – in 2019.

Speaking on Melbourne Breakfast with Tony Leonard and Jimmy Bartel, Sutherland’s personal view was Test cricket complimented the two other forms of the game.

 “We’ve got to manage the balance between the T20 leagues and international cricket,” he said.

“My take is Test cricket is a lot stronger because of ODI cricket and T20 cricket because they complement each other. When you get into a situation where players are being dragged out of international cricket and retiring prematurely from Test cricket then that’s a danger zone.

“We’re on a threshold there and we need to be careful to regulate and ensure the proliferation of T20 leagues around the world is somewhat controlled.”

Click PLAY to hear why James Sutherland resigned

Cricket Australia signed a $1.182bn TV deal in April with Channel Seven and Foxtel, which sidelined traditional cricket broadcaster Channel 9 and Sutherland said the deal reflected a changing market.

“Like so many Australians, I grew up where Nine and cricket were synonymous,” he said.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for what Nine have done for cricket over a long period of time.

“Times changes, priorities change, and opportunities arise and our new partnerships with Channel Seven and Foxtel should mean the Australia public will be very pleased (with the new deal).”

He said encouraging more female fans to get involved in the game was one of the key growth areas, while “the diversification of playing numbers” was vital moving forward.

“I really, strongly believe that cricket’s greatest opportunity for material growth over the new decade is greatest engagement from females,” the outgoing CEO said.

“I’m excited by the trajectory we’re on (in that space) and long may that continue.”

Click PLAY below for James Sutherland’s full chat with Melbourne Breakfast