BREKKY BAD

Herald Sun - - NEWS -

FOR­MER Cricket Aus­tralia big­wig BEN AMARFIO has bro­ken his si­lence on his sud­den ter­mi­na­tion from the em­bat­tled gov­ern­ing body, while bat­ting away ru­mours about those hot break­fasts.

He be­came known as Ben “Hot Break­fast” Amarfio af­ter a story about the Cricket Aus­tralia ex­ec­u­tive or­der­ing his sec­re­tary to whip up ba­con and eggs for him took on a life of its own.

These early-morn­ing de­mands got an­other run around last month when Amarfio (right) was sacked by CA af­ter six years as its gen­eral man­ager of broad­cast­ing, dig­i­tal me­dia and com­mer­cial.

Now, for the first time, one of cricket’s most po­lar­is­ing ex­ecs has ex­plained his ver­sion of the most talked-about break­fast in sport. Amarfio, in a bar­rage of DEN­NIS

LILLEE- like bounc­ers, claims he never de­manded his per­sonal as­sis­tant cook him any meals. Amarfio says he was the one who would bring home-cooked treats into the of­fice for her. “Every week for about four years,” he says.

On her be­ing forced to slave over a hot stove, Amarfio was adamant: “No, never, we don’t even have a stove at CA.”

He did ad­mit she grabbed food for him but “only spo­rad­i­cally dur­ing heavy work­load pe­ri­ods”.

So, how did the hot break­fast story be­come hot gos­sip?

Amarfio blamed a dis­grun­tled for­mer em­ployee for start­ing what he de­scribes as “mis­chievous and nasty scut­tle­butt”.

“Sur­pris­ingly, not un­til the last month has any journo called ei­ther my­self or BELINDA (Amarfio’s EA), for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the story,” he says.

His exit from CA’s head­quar­ters has also been mis­rep­re­sented ac­cord­ing to Amarfio.

He says he wasn’t es­corted from the build­ing by the head of se­cu­rity,

SEAN CAR­ROLL, a for­mer Vic­to­ria po­lice de­tec­tive who over­sees CA’s anti-cor­rup­tion pro­gram.

“I was not marched or es­corted from the build­ing. I asked Sean to buzz me into the carpark,” he says. “To do so, we walked down the stairs to­gether to the carpark exit door. We chat­ted and hugged when I left.”

Amarfio is still up­set about be­ing de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress

his 70 staff about his dis­missal by CA’s new head of Peo­ple & Cul­ture RAJ TAP­PER.

“I was asked by the new head of HR to leave im­me­di­ately and she told me that ad­vis­ing my staff of the rea­son for my ter­mi­na­tion was ‘the CEO’s news to tell,’ not mine.

When asked how staff re­acted to his sack­ing Amarfio says: “I be­lieve my staff were very shocked and dis­ap­pointed about my de­par­ture.”

Asked why he was ter­mi­nated, Amarfio said new CEO KEVIN

ROBERTS had ad­vised him that he wanted “deeper re­la­tion­ships with our broad­cast­ers and spon­sors”. This was de­spite Amarfio land­ing

Cricket Aus­tralia a record $1.2 bil­lion broad­cast rights deal.

“Based on ir­refutable fac­tual ev­i­dence, I didn’t agree with the rea­son given for the ter­mi­na­tion of my em­ploy­ment, but that’s a CEO’s pre­rog­a­tive,” Amarfio says.

He also dis­missed the no­tion that his name had ap­peared in the con­tro­ver­sial cul­tural re­view of CA fol­low­ing the South Africa ball­tam­per­ing scan­dal.

“I wasn’t named in any of the 145 pages, in­clud­ing the redac­tions, of the cul­tural re­view,” he says.

As for the cul­tural prob­lems at cricket HQ, Amarfio says that has been “grossly over­stated”.

“I was not marched or es­corted from the build­ing”

“Based on ir­refutable fac­tual ev­i­dence, I didn’t agree with the rea­son given for the ter­mi­na­tion of my em­ploy­ment”

“(Cricket Aus­tralia’s cul­ture prob­lems have been) grossly over­stated”

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