The Adelaide Test was always going to serve us with moments to remember. There’s the pink ball, Test cricket under floodlights and lest we forget - the breathtaking orange skyline in the backdrop during the twilight period of the day.
But there was one moment, albeit totally unplanned, that caught the attention of fans following the third Test between South Africa and Australia. The CEO of Cricket Australia James Sutherland was live on air and was being interviewed by ABC’s Gerard Whateley on the ground ahead of day two of the ongoing Test. And then it happened – he swallowed a fly.
Sutherland paused momentarily, sought out a glass of water and then got along with the interview much to the amazement of the Whateley. “He’s just swallowed a fly, that was unlucky,” he said with obvious bewilderment.
The ABC reporter continued with the live broadcast to give Sutherland sometime to recover. When the CEO of Cricket Australia did rejoin the conversation, his sense of humour was well in place. “I’m back I think Gerard but that fly’s gone down the wrong hole,” he said.
Australian fans who spotted the incident were both sympathetic and amused at the same time.
As CEO of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland has had a tough summer so far. In October, news emerged that Commonwealth Bank had reduced the value of their sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia leaving the cricket body with a severe shortfall.
Then Australia’s on-field performances didn’t show any signs of improvement as their poor Test match form continued in the series against South Africa. Sutherland, then had to convene emergency meetings as Rob Marsh quit his position as chairman of selectors – a move that clearly indicated that cricket in Australia was at its lowest point in a while.
Amidst speculation that he himself might hand in his papers, Sutherland has been firm and vowed to dig in while urging the Test side to do the same as well.
James Sutherland is a former fast-bowler from Victoria and has worked as an accountant at Ernst & young. He has held the top position in Australian cricket administration since 2001 after he took over from Malcolm Speed.