Australian cricket June 5, 2005

Ponting backs player-selector concept

Cricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting: 'Anyone playing in the [first-class] competition can really get a good gauge on some of the younger players' © Getty Images

Ricky Ponting has urged the Australian board to consider taking a radical step of thrusting a current state player into the role of a selector in the future. While strongly endorsing Merv Hughes's appointment as a national selector, Ponting felt that a player still experiencing the grind of first-class cricket would bring a unique perspective to the selection table and that his insights into the development of domestic players could prove crucial.

Ponting's comments came in the wake of Darren Lehmann's name being discussed as a possible candidate for the national selector's post. However, Cricket Australia decided it would be inappropriate for someone in Lehmann's position, who is still actively involved in first-class cricket and only recently dropped from the side, to help select the national team.

"I don't think there's any reason why it couldn't happen," Ponting was quoted as saying in The Melbourne Age. "I think it probably could have some benefits, to have someone like Darren or anyone playing in the competition to really get a good gauge on some of the younger players coming through. There could be some positives there, but at the moment I think there could be some negatives to go with it. Hopefully, something can be worked out in coming years to give that sort of thing an opportunity."

However, Ponting was equally enthusiastic about Hughes's appointment and added that he may have to be involved in some tough decisions along the way. One of those major decisions may include ending the career of Shane Warne, his long-time friend. But Hughes said he would approach the whole issue in an objective manner. "Obviously you're going to have to make some tough decisions," he said, "and I'd like to think that I'm strong enough to separate my personal feelings from a business decision that's got to be made. There are going to be disappointments."