James Sutherland will be stepping down as Australia Cricket CEO after 17 years in the role.

Sutherland made the shock announcement on Wednesday in Melbourne, just days before Australia gets their tour of England underway.

Sutherland's departure will not be immediate, he will remain in his role for 12 months as Cricket Australia finds a replacement.

The news comes two months after national coach Darren Lehmann resigned following the cheating scandal.

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"I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do this job," he said. "I'd lie to thank them for their friendship, support and counsel along the way.

"I love and admire their passion for the game."

Sutherland, a former first-class cricketer with Victoria, was appointed in 2001 as Malcolm Speed's successor at the then Australian Cricket Board.

CA chairman David Peever thanks Sutherland for his services.

"He is without doubt the best sporting administrator in Australia and the best in world cricket," he said.

"When he leaves the game he can most certainly say it's much stronger for him having been in it."