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Merv Hughes dumped as Australia selector

Peter English

October 29, 2010

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A

Eye of the tiger: Merv Hughes prepares to throw a shuttle during Australia's net session, Edgbaston, July 28, 2009
Merv Hughes departs after five years as a decision maker © Getty Images
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Australia's selection panel will have no specialist bowling input after Merv Hughes was cut from the group. Hughes joined as Allan Border's replacement in 2005, but Cricket Australia's board was unanimous in letting him go as a result of Greg Chappell's full-time appointment in August

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman, is contracted until the end of the 2011 World Cup on a part-time basis while David Boon and Jamie Cox were also retained. All four selectors were top-order batsmen during their careers and while that doesn't mean they can't spot bowling potential, it does leave a lopsided group. James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said the board was comfortable with the line-up because "the balance of the panel is not like a cricket team".

The board made the decision after a presentation from Hilditch in Melbourne on Friday. Sutherland said Hughes, who was disappointed with the decision, had provided valuable input and expertise during the past five years.

"Andrew was clear in his assessment that Merv had been a good selector and a strong contributor around the selection table, but that Cox, Boon and Chappell were the better options to continue on the panel," Sutherland said. "Unfortunately this means that Merv is no longer a member."

The departure of Hughes, who took 212 wickets in 53 Tests, is not a surprise, although Cox's spot was thought to be in danger due to his role as South Australia's high-performance manager. Boon also has a fulltime job with Tasmania, but Sutherland said the conflicts of interest had been discussed.

"The board has taken the decision that finding people who are skilled and qualified enough, and are available to fulfil the role of selectors, is very important," he said. "[Selectors] don't grow on trees, it's very difficult, and the level of commitment is quite considerable. The board has taken a view, in spite of potential conflict, that they can be managed."

Under Hughes' watch the bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus have developed, while the Test careers of Stuart Clark and Brett Lee ended. Hughes was criticised for mixing the selection role with his hosting of travel groups on overseas tours, and also had to battle to combine corporate duties with his larrikin nature. Hilditch's panel has received regular criticism for its confusing decisions and Hughes leaves with Australia's Test ranking at an all-time low of No.5.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by smudgeon on (October 31, 2010, 3:14 GMT)

I'm surprised no-one has said what we're all thinking: obviously the best Australian selector would be Sachin!

Posted by   on (October 31, 2010, 1:07 GMT)

bring in taylor waugh and healy. tim may if possible.

Posted by UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on (October 30, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

GOOD LUCK AUSTRALIA......BEWARE..SUPER EGO GREG CHAPPEL IS COMING.............FOR HIM HIS INFLATED EGO IS THE ULTIMATE SUPERIOR BEING.....THE JOB FOR WHICH HE IS CALLED IS ALWAYS SECONDARY TO HIS FALSE EGO....LOOK AT GARY KIRSTEN...HE IS HARDLY IN LIMELIGHT....BUT READ WHAT SACHIN, GAMBHIR, DHONI, SEHWAG, HARBHAJAN, ZAHIR ETC. HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HIM....THEY WANT HIS CONTRACT EXTENDED....& SOUTH AFRICA WANTS HIM.....& LOOK WHAT GREAT EGO GREG CHAPPEL DID TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA & INDIA AS COACH........HAVE THE AUSTRALIANS FORGOTTEN IAN CHAPPEL, MARK TAYLOR, SHANE WARNE, STEVE WAUGH.....THEY HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO BECOME SELECTOR/ COACH.........

Posted by Rocketman1 on (October 30, 2010, 8:52 GMT)

Chappelle's Resume: 1.1981 ashes and the 1982/83 tour to pakistan Chappell didnt go to either coz he was too good. 2. Revolutionised underarm bowling technique. 3. Excelled as a commentator....(not boring at all) 4. Indian Coach - formed great friendship with Ganguly and Pioneered the development of Indian Cricket. 5. Ashe's Consultant... 6. Australia A Coach engineered a tactical defeat in the One Dayers Vs Sri Lanka A to gain a psychological edge for the upcoming Sri Lanka One Dayers and the Ashes tour coming up.

The man is a genius.

Posted by   on (October 30, 2010, 6:10 GMT)

big big mistake - all caused by the appointment of Mr Big Ego - greg chappell - failure in everything since he stopped playing and had totally the wrong attitude as captain

Merv is a cricket brain - idiotic cutting him - cox and hilditch should go - they have had very little impact on australian cricket

shane warne - certainly - as soon as possible (can they afford him?)

sutherland also should go - he is as weak as water

Posted by saprak on (October 30, 2010, 3:48 GMT)

Hilditch should be axed and Chappel should n't be there. Remove Punter as well from XI. Then one can expect some improvement in TEST RANKING in next 2-3 years.

Posted by Okakaboka on (October 30, 2010, 0:22 GMT)

Stuart Clark is gone because he has lost about 10 kms off his bowling. It doesn't matter how accurate he is, the batsman has too much time to react to any amount of swing or seam he gets. Clark is now a very similar bowler to Andrew MacDonald...both deadly accurate but unless they can swing the ball like a Damien Fleming, they are going to struggle at test level. MacDonald is a genuine batsman however. That said...what the hell is cricket Australia doing keeping a proven failure such as Hilditch. For crying out loud...Hughes is not the problem...it is Hilditch and Cox!!! Geez, we all remember Hughes as being a very smart bowler who could think a batsman out, despite his yobbo profile. Australia is not going to move up the rankings until we at least get our selection panel right...not a panel that is clearly a few cogs short of a gearbox. Having listened to Damien Fleming on the radio...He makes a lot of sense...I think he could be the one to get Australia back to number one - as Coach!

Posted by eminem on (October 29, 2010, 23:32 GMT)

should have got terry alderman for the job.

Posted by jigish.patel on (October 29, 2010, 21:41 GMT)

I still don't understand why the Australian selectors decided to do away with Stuart Clark. I thought he was really really good and very consistent - he should've been the mainstay of Aussie bowling line up after McGrath's retirement.

Posted by Vindaliew on (October 29, 2010, 19:23 GMT)

I hope Brett Lee makes a comeback - maybe it's too early to write both him and Stuart Clark off?

Posted by Victorian-Roo on (October 29, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

Yipppeee....i never liked this bloke at all....thank god he's been shown the boot. Very happy mate!

Posted by guesswhat555 on (October 29, 2010, 16:58 GMT)

When Greg Chappel was australian captain he was an under arm cheat, when he was indian coach, it was the worst phast for indian team, when he was the australian team's consultant for ashes tour, we all know what happened then, now he is a selector and i think its going to be the worst phase for australian team and we already saw the preview with 0-2 loss in india. Good Luck aussie

Posted by   on (October 29, 2010, 16:40 GMT)

Apparently, Hilditch thinks that he is a better option than Hughes. Not surprising.

Posted by calypsocricket on (October 29, 2010, 16:07 GMT)

Why is Hilditch still there ? His knowledge in selection of a cricket team is very poor to say the least. I say ditch Hilditch. There are many available, who will do a much better job.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

Andrew Hilditch should be out of the australian selection panel too....

Posted by Mirjah on (October 29, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

Hilditch has to go for Australia to move forward. He endorses non strike bowlers and under performing batsmen to retain their spots on the 11. Australia will rise again once Hilditch goes.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

I don't suppose anyone bothered phoning Bob Neil to see if he was available?

Posted by Bytheway on (October 29, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

A clean sweep would have been the go. Get rid of the lot. Australia have slumped to No. 5 on their watch. Time for this lot to fall off their tree.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 29, 2010, 11:33 GMT)

While the selection panel probably needs a shake up, I think we all agreed that Hilditch was the one that should have gone. Perhaps Hughes isn't ideal but we do need to have a bowling selector. Australia's great strength is their bowling depth, especially fast bowling depth. Missing a bowling selector I wonder if they will be utilised even less than they are now.

Posted by Lovetesh on (October 29, 2010, 11:07 GMT)

Put Shane Warne in and see how this team turns around.

Posted by popcorn on (October 29, 2010, 10:40 GMT)

Simply cannot understand the logic. We need a bowling Selector, maybe they'll get one when Andrew Hilditch goes.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (October 29, 2010, 10:12 GMT)

Some progress after all. Hughes may have been an international-class bowler. That does not make him a proficient selector of international class bowlers. He was a pace bowler. Its likely he had limited knowledge of spin bowling. I would rather have someone with coaching experience and development experience like Chappel, though. The switch is good for Australia.

Posted by Bone101 on (October 29, 2010, 10:01 GMT)

Hilditch and Cox should have gone as well - with Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh bought in as replacements.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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