Controversial Howard joins Cricket Australia exodus

Pat Howard will leave Cricket Australia after next year's Ashes as the exodus from head office continues after this year's ball-tampering scandal.

The governing body is adamant Howard's departure is not linked to the twin reviews into the game to be released on Monday however industry sources have indicated the reports commissioned after the events in South Africa are unlikely to reflect favourably on CA's head of team performance.

Pulling stumps: Pat Howard will step down as Cricket Australia's team performance boss after the 2019 Ashes.

Pulling stumps: Pat Howard will step down as Cricket Australia’s team performance boss after the 2019 Ashes.Credit:Anthony Johnson

Chairman David Peever is now the last figurehead remaining following the suspensions handed to on-field leaders Steve Smith and David Warner and the resignations of coach Darren Lehmann and long-serving chief executive James Sutherland.

The reappointment of Peever as chairman is due to be ratified at the annual general meeting in Melbourne on Thursday, while the inquiries into CA culture by The Ethics Centre and the national men's team by Rick McCosker will be released on Monday.

Eyebrows have been raised within Australian cricket about the timing of the release, with some stakeholders believing it has been designed to ensure Peever is reappointed before any adverse reaction from the reports.

Howard, who was signed a two-year extension in May last year, has flagged privately to players and staff of his intentions to step down after his contract expires next year.

"Pat had previously indicated that he would not be seeking contract renewal beyond the end of the 2019 Ashes series, when his contract was due to conclude," a CA spokesperson said.

"The decision is his own and is no way connected to the reviews to be released on Monday. A recruitment process will be decided and announced in due course, but there is plenty of time for this to be considered."

Howard has been one of the most controversial figures in the game since his appointment as CA's head of team performance, a position created after the Argus review in 2011.

The win-at-all-costs culture in the national men's team under Howard is expected to form a key component of the reviews.

CA's high-performance program has come under scrutiny during Howard's tenure, with many critical of the emphasis placed on potential over performance.

State players have been upset by moves – such as the use of Dukes balls in the Shield, the introduction of a carnival-style one-day tournament, and the new Shield points system – which they believe have devalued Australia's domestic competitions.

Howard has also been a central figure in several controversies, including homework-gate in India 2013 and last year's pay dispute. He has also presided over tenures of two national coaches in Mickey Arthur and Lehmann.

Arthur was sensationally dumped on the eve of the 2013 Ashes after the decay in the team's performance and culture.

However, Australia have also enjoyed several highs on his watch, most notably the 2013-14 Ashes whitewash and the successful World Cup campaign on home soil in 2015.

His background as a former Wallaby rather than an ex-cricketer irked traditionalists in the game but he has been highly rated by Sutherland and the CA board.

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