MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced the appointment of Clea Smith as an Independent Director. She brings a wealth of knowledge acquired in business management, player welfare and as an international cricketer to the CA Board.
A former Australian and Victorian opening bowler, she featured in two ICC World Cup victories and five national championship-winning teams and is a life member of the Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club. Overall, she played a Test, 48 ODIs and 13 T20Is for Australia.
"I'm really looking forward to joining the CA Board and working with my fellow Directors to continue the work being done to nurture and grow the game. This is an exciting and challenging time for cricket, and I hope my experience as a player, with the ACA and in business will complement the skills of my fellow Directors as we look to the future," said Clea.
Clea worked in several roles for the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) including General Manager of Member Programs, General Manager, Past Players and Strategic Projects and National Manager Past Player Program.
She holds an MBA and BA App. Science: Sports Coaching and Administration and is currently chief executive of The Mind Room, a mental health and wellbeing company.
"Clea brings absolutely impeccable credentials to the CA Board with her playing and management experience and also the perspective gained during her time with the ACA. At a time when Australian cricket is focusing on the mental health challenges faced by players and all our people, Clea's experience in this field will also prove invaluable," said Lachlan Henderson, CA Chairman.
Apart from Clea's appointment to the CA Board, the Annual General Meeting voted in favour of the re-election of John Harnden as a Director and the election of David Maddocks as a Director. In the annual report released for the 2021-22 financial year, CA reported a net deficit of $5.1 million with significant factors including the costs of staging cricket throughout the pandemic and a challenging UK media rights market impacting this result.
A year-on-year reduction in total revenue of $14.3 million to $391 million was driven by a reduction in international media rights, partly offset by increased match revenues due to the popularity of the Ashes and improved Covid conditions.
The overall result was also boosted by a reduction in expenses, driven mainly by lower biosecurity costs than last year, the operation of the player revenue share model and strong cost controls.
Also, in the CA annual report, despite Covid-19, participation and retention rates in community cricket remained robust with total registered participation increasing by 11% to 598,931.
The growth of women and girls cricket continued with registered female participation increasing by 12,000 to 71,300. CA added that funding to States and Territory Associations increased by $9.5 million to $112.7 million.