Australian Cricket April 7, 2006

Andrew Hilditch appointed new chairman of selectors

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Hilditch: Happy hooker turned chairman of selectors © Getty Images

Andrew Hilditch, the former Australian batsman, has been appointed as the new chairman of the National Selection Panel, replacing Trevor Hohns, who resigned from the post recently.

The Adelaide-based Hilditch was appointed as a national selector in 1996-97 and along with illustrious names like Allan Border, Trevor Hohns and David Boon, he helped guide Australia to world dominance at both Test and one-day level.

Creagh O'Connor, the chairman of the Australia board, said that Hilditch's appointment had the full backing of the board. "We have confidence in Andrew as our new chairman of selectors," he said. "He is an experienced member of what has been a successful selection panel. Andrew has served on the NSP for 10 years and is regarded as an excellent communicator who has a very good rapport with the players.

Hilditch, 49, said that he was looking forward to the role. "Naturally I'm very excited about my appointment and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. Trevor has done a fantastic job in the time he has chaired the panel and I can only hope to perform to a similar level. I have no doubt that it is a challenging role and there will be many tough decisions ahead, however, our objective is to maintain Australia's position at the top of world cricket by selecting the best teams as we see fit.

"There are tough decisions to be made. Some of the great players of all time will leave the game over the next few years but that's been a process that's been going on for 10 years, ever since I've been in the job," Hilditch said. "Our goal is to pick the best possible Australian side at all times with a bit of an eye for the future, as necessary. That remains the goal, and when the tough decisions come up, they'll have to be made.

"We're very conscious of the need to keep picking the best side but make sure we're the best side in 10 years time as well."

He played 18 Tests for Australia between 1979 and 1985, scoring two centuries in the space of three innings, against West Indies and England in 1984-85. However, Hilditch's defensive technique was often found wanting, and it was his penchant for the hook shot that eventually led to his downfall.