Nicholson pulls up stumps

11 October, 2020

ACA Chief Executive Officer, Alistair Nicholson, today announced his resignation after more than six years in the role.

Nicholson has led the ACA with integrity and humility. He leaves a stronger, more mature and commercially robust organisation, having successfully navigated several tumultuous episodes in the game, earning the respect and gratitude of players and cricket stakeholders.

ACA President, Shane Watson, congratulated Nicholson on the contribution he has made to advancing the interests of both male and female players and to the evolution of both the ACA and the game, delivered under his leadership.

“Alistair has made an enormous contribution to the ACA. He has always represented the players with integrity and his list of achievements is outstanding.

"His calm, mature and authoritative leadership during a number of challenging issues and his understanding of the business of sport have been at the heart of his contribution.

"He leaves with our enduring gratitude and thanks,” said Watson.

Alistair has made an enormous contribution to the ACA. He has always represented the players with integrity and his list of achievements is outstanding.

Shane Watson

ACA Chairman, Greg Dyer, said the ACA had grown and matured significantly during Nicholson’s tenure.

“Under Alistair’s leadership we’ve become much more professional and developed our capability to provide a much-expanded service offering for the benefit of all of our members.

"We’re now positioned to participate strongly in the game’s future as an enormously respected contributor at all levels of Australian cricket,” said Dyer.

“Alistair has made an incredible personal contribution to these outcomes, working tirelessly through some very difficult moments for the sport.

"He should be rightly proud of the players’ participation in grassroots programmes, in cricket’s position as the leader in gender equity and in the continuing dividend which the revenue share partnership model delivers.”

ACA Board Members Alyssa Healy and Pat Cummins also spoke of Nicholson’s contribution on behalf of the current playing group.

“Alistair was a major driver in the some of the great strides that female players have made over the last few years," said Healy.

"He identified very early on that bringing females into the revenue share arrangements based on gender equity principles was critical and in doing so, he secured a very bright future for the female game that set a global precedent.

“His leadership helped establish a great platform for the female game to continue to grow.”

“Al is trusted by the players. We knew he would always be tough but balanced when representing us and that our stance would be based on good principles,” said Cummins.

“He is welcome back in the changeroom at any time. We thank him for his contribution to the ACA and wish him well.

Achievements during Nicholson’s tenure include:

  • Securing the revenue share model that underpins the role of players as partners in the game in the last collective bargaining negotiation
  • Bringing females players into the model based on gender equity principles in a world-leading agreement for the sport and for female athletes’ pay
  • Growing ACA membership through the development and implementation of the ‘best-in-class’ Professional Development and Wellbeing program; delivery of the Past Player program; Player Partnership Funds and other membership programs
  • Overseeing the transition and upgrade of the Australian Cricketer’s Retirement Account to create a modernised scheme that better improves player transition out of the game
  • Developing improved governance, advisory structures and capability at the ACA
  • Building the organisational strength, capability and professional culture of the ACA

Nicholson’s six years at the ACA has also seen him deal with several significant issues during a tumultuous time in the game, with the death of Phil Hughes, holding the playing group together for two months following the expiry of the last collective bargaining agreement and the fallout from the Cape Town sandpaper incident.

Reflecting on his time at the ACA, Nicholson said he was extremely proud to have led the ACA through the last six years.

I’ve been humbled to represent our player group and I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve in my time at the ACA.

Alistair Nicholson

“I’ve been humbled to represent our player group and I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve in my time at the ACA," he said.

"I have had to deal with unprecedented issues in the game but always tried to maintain principles of fairness and equity, representing the players as we worked to advance the interests of the game at all times.

“I step down with some sadness as I love the ACA and the game but I look forward to watching from afar and taking a break to enjoy a summer of watching cricket after a particularly demanding tenure, including most recently through COVID.

"The season ahead is now as well planned as possible and I have great confidence in the ACA team to steer through the years ahead.

“I leave knowing the ACA is well positioned to represent its members into the future and wish the ACA, staff, advisors, and all members the very best.”

The ACA Board will now commence the process of recruiting a Chief Executive Officer, with Alistair departing at the end of the year.

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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