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October 10, 2006
Allan Border has stepped down as a Test selector for the second time in less than two years and only four months after re-accepting the position. Border, who is a Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket board member, stepped back into the role in June but has over-committed and will focus instead on his other interests, which also include commentary and media work.
"My various commitments are far heavier than I had expected back in mid-year and I don't think it is appropriate to do what is a really important job if I am not able to give it the full attention it deserves," Border said. "I am really passionate and absolutely committed to making a continuing contribution to cricket through my board work and through my involvement in the CA committee that will decide the next national coach."
According to a report in The Age, however, the final straw for Border came down to a conflict of interests over a beer commercial. He has just taken part in an advert for XXXX Gold, alongside Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee, but Cricket Australia has just signed a far-reaching sponsorship deal with the rival brewery, Foster's.
"We think ambush marketing is fairly un-Australian," said Geoff Donohue, the corporate affairs spokesman for the Foster's Group. "I will leave you to decide whether what they [XXXX Gold] are doing with their current advertising campaigns is ambush marketing. I guess Allan has [resigned] in pursuit of his own commercial interests, and what he wants to do for personal gain is obviously his business."
Australia's selection panel has changed significantly since April with the resignation of Trevor Hohns, the long-serving chairman, and the promotion of Andrew Hilditch into the top job. Merv Hughes, who replaced Border when he walked away after a seven-year stint in 2005, and David Boon are the two other current selectors.
Creagh O'Connor, the Cricket Australia chairman, said the board would discuss possible replacements with Hilditch and Cricket Australia's management before a meeting later this week.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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