Former Australian and Victorian opening bowler Clea Smith has been appointed as an Independent Director to Cricket Australia board on the same day the board released its annual report for the 2021-22 financial year. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge acquired in business management, player welfare and as an international cricketer to the CA Board, having 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.
Smith 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: Sport 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 focussing on the mental health challenges faced by players and all our people, Clea’s experience in this field will also prove invaluable," Dr Lachlan Henderson, CA chairman, said in a press release.
“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," Smith said.
Further, in the business side, in 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. BBL11 was the most watched sports league in Australia on a per-game linear TV basis with 506,000 viewers, while every game of the WBBL07 season was televised making it the most watched WBBL ever.
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. That resulted in CA’s funding to States and Territory Associations increased by $9.5 million to $112.7 million.