Australia looking to rebuild September 26, 2005

Hohns targets World Cup challenge


Australia's future players are currently performing in Pakistan © Getty Images

Trevor Hohns, Australia's chairman of selectors, is targeting to 2007 World Cup as a major milestone as they rebuild following their Ashes defeat. Hohns is in Pakistan with Australia A to spot future Australian players and said: "I suppose winning the 2007 World Cup is a challenge now."

"Australia won the last two [World] Cups, so it would be nice to win three in a row and we consider the timing is right now for us to start juggling our side and that [is what] we will be doing," he added.

Australia last week dropped Damien Martyn, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz from the Test squad for next month's Super Series against the World XI. Gillespie, Kasprowicz and opener Matthew Hayden were also dropped from the one-day side as Australia start rebuilding for the World Cup. But Hohns denied that Australia were on the road to decline.

"I don't agree. We have been beaten by England, who are a very, very good side which Pakistan will see very soon," said Hohns, referring to England's tour of Pakistan starting next month.

"The future of Australian cricket is very strong. We may not win all the time; sooner or later you had to lose because others have been trying to come up to the Australian level and, maybe, some of them have reached that mark."

Hohns highlighted the lack of runs made by Australia's batsmen as a key factor in losing the Ashes, and concedes they "may have been a little under-prepared." But their bowling and catching were also not of the high standard they had come to expect.

"The bowling lacked something and we also dropped catches," he added. "It was unlike the Australia side which has performed so well for many, many years."

Hohns said Australia have quality back-up players but replacing greats like Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne would be tough. "No doubt that we have quality players to fill in, but filling in the shoes of McGrath and Warne may be a little difficult. They are two of the all-time great bowlers in one side and we need to restructure to make up."