Pat Howard is leaving his role as Cricket Australia's high performance manager, with Belinda Clark taking the job on an interim basis.

Howard to leave Cricket Australia post early

Cricket Australia (CA) high performance manager Pat Howard will leave his role earlier than expected, with his departure brought forward to next week.

Howard, who took the role in October 2011, was due to leave when his contract expired after next year's Ashes series.

However, CA announced on Wednesday that Howard is to depart next week, with former Australia international Belinda Clark taking on the role on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named in 2019.

"Pat joined Cricket Australia in 2011, as a recommendation of the Argus Review and has been instrumental in driving change in a new team performance structure, with a focus on player and coaching pathways in the Australian system," a CA statement read.

CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said: "It is clear that we need to deepen our relationships with fans, players and the broader cricket community.

"We are committed to making cricket stronger and developing closer connections with the community and greater alignment across the organisation.

"Everyone at CA is focused on rebuilding and moving forward after what has been a turbulent year in Australian cricket."

Howard's exit continues what has been a difficult period for the organisation, particularly after the release of a cultural review in which it was described as "arrogant" and "controlling".

Chairman David Peever stepped down last week and director Mark Taylor quit on Monday.

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