Australian board news March 10, 2011

Hilditch to stay on as chairman of selectors


Andrew Hilditch will remain Australia's chairman of selectors until at least August, when Cricket Australia will have the findings of a review headed by the former BHP chairman Don Argus. The former captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh will be on the panel that will review Australia's performance in the wake of the Ashes thrashing.

The group, which will have the former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed as its deputy chairman, has been asked to "understand the causes of the Australian cricket team's recent performance decline in Test matches and recommend changes to deliver sustained success". And while that scope could mean making recommendations on the make-up of the selection panel, Hilditch won't be going anywhere just yet.

His tenure as chairman was due to expire at the end of the World Cup, but for the sake of continuity he will stay on until the review is complete. That means Hilditch and his panel of Greg Chappell, David Boon and Jamie Cox will be responsible for choosing Australia's Test squad to tour Sri Lanka in August, and probably the side that will head to South Africa in September.

"Because we have to get on with business, the board will keep the current selectors, they will be doing their normal work [until August]," the Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke said. "We've got to do contracts, we've got a Bangladesh [one-day] series, we've got Australia A going to Zimbabwe, we have a Test series in Sri Lanka. All of those will certainly need to be picked before the review comes back. But it is up to the review to come up with things, it is up to the board to make any decision about that."

The panel is expected to report its findings around August, although Clarke said because Cricket Australia did not want to rush things, it could be later in the year. And while it was the Ashes result - Australia lost three matches by an innings and went down in the series 3-1 - that sparked the review, Clarke said all was not doom and gloom for Australian cricket.

"We're still No.1 in one-day cricket and we did have a bad Ashes loss and we lost the Ashes in 2009 as well, not something we're used to doing and we want to make sure it doesn't happen again as best as we can," Clarke said. "It's just not going to be a witch-hunt, we're looking forward for sustained future success, we're not looking with rear-view mirrors."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Christopher on March 13, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    Hard to see Mark Taylor being useful.There is no question that he was an excellent tactician on the cricket field,a great bat at the start of his career and has blended seamlessly into his commentary role.Known as' tubby' he was carried as a non scoring opening batsman for 2 years in the australian side.It would be the height of hypocrisy if he were to be critical as it was his retention that created the modern template for this behaviour.Ponting,Hussey and North were all carried for more than 2 years while badly underperforming.Instead of talking about winning the game,people were discussing whether Ponting would get out to the hook( thats why Hilditch loves him),whether Hussey would ever attack in test cricket again and whether North would have his career saving hundred or his five noughts.Taylor ascribed his turn around 334 not out in a rain affected 2 and a half days to getting very fit in the off season.Who would have thought a professional athlete would be required to be fit.Weak

  • Kell on March 12, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    @Oka, sounds about right to me as well.

  • Christopher on March 12, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    What an outrage.Im left wondering if Hilditch has compromising pictures or emails of Jack Clarke and James Sutherland.Six extra months of Hilditch based on a perceived need for continuity while losing.Australia is fifth in world test rankings.The only reason they arent sixth is because the pakistan team was embroiled in match fixing and attempting to lose.If Hilditch wasnt there,selection could only become better.The last 3 years represent the most staggeringly inept,wasteful and divisive selection in australian cricket history.Of the current or former tasmanians who have played test cricket in the last year,only Watson has been worth his place on merit.The others survive due to the Tasmanian Clique in selection of Boon,Cox and Pontings influence.Noone in first class cricket has any sense of what the selectors are doing and premature retirements are rife.Hilditch couldnt be trusted as a test player nor as a selector.Someone please tell Clarke that continuity is only good when winning.

  • Tone on March 12, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    I'm surprised with RJHB's statement that Mark Taylor is "weak". How so? This is a man who batted for 2 days to make 334 n.o. in Peshawar in 1998. The innings of a weak man? Yeah ... nah! Aside from Ian Chappell, I see Taylor as the best Australian captain in the last 40 years. He was the one who set things up for Steve Waugh and RIcky Ponting. I think this is a very strong panel all round. The only person missing is Trevor Hohns, who was the hard-arse who pushed both Waughs and Ian Healy out of the ODI/Test teams. I'm sure we can agree, though, that Hilditch must go. He was a mediocre cricketer and has been an equally mediocre selector.

  • Christopher on March 12, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    Border is an anachronism and can be of no benefit.Taylor is an establishment yes man.Waugh recommended Paine for test captain.None of them have the impartiality or judgement needed and are irrelevent.That inquiry needs to find that a large number of self interest croups in charge of australain cricket(read-Clarke,Sutherland,Nielsen and co,Hilditch and co,Ponting),buried their heads in the sand,installed principles of non accountability and removed merit based selection policies.Their principles ruined players careers,caused the test team to plummet to fifth in the world,saw our worst ashes defeat ever and worse-claimed it was the everyone elses fault.The only basis for selection is merit.Merit means runs and/or wickets.Why should players at state level continue to try when there is no intelligent pathway to the national side.The only basis for coaching appointment is merit.Players performing better with fewer injuries and the side winning.Noone has been meeting these criterion years.

  • Christopher on March 12, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    I was aware of the direction australian cricket was taking from the time Hodge was sacked in 2008.The scandalous mistreatment of Hughes in 2009 confirmed it.The Jack Clarke rhetoric on 'not wanting to look back','maintaining continuity regardless of merit is better'and 'australian cricket isnt that bad',single him out as the driving force behind the principles that have destroyed australias cricketing reputation.Without impartial reviews dedicated to excellence of results,there can be no progress.Without merit based selections and appointments,failure is virtually assured.Clarke must be the only person in the cricketing world that doesnt believe test cricket here is in ruin.It indicates an incredible lack of judgement.His reasons for not wanting a witchunt are obvious- his culpability.He,Sutherland,Nielsen and the coaching staff,Hilditch and the tasmanian selection clique and anything connecting the old with new(Ponting) must be removed if we are to return to integrity and excellence.

  • David on March 12, 2011, 1:03 GMT

    I agree with the comments of Oka, Woz and RJHB. This panel is a bit like the police investigating the police. Border and Waugh will have to take control and "ownership" of it for anything positive to come out. And a review or performance means you look at what HAS happened and take appropriate action, not simply look at what SHOULD happen in the future. If the review is fair dinkum then messrs Sutherland, Hilditch, Cox, Boon, Chappell and Neilsen will all need to register with Centrelink come September. Junior cricket, under 17s, under 19s and first-class cricket in this country are all in a healthy condition (eg the under 19 WC result) - the trouble only starts when this lot get their hands on it.

  • Rajaram on March 12, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    It is a wise move to retain Andrew Hildtch till the findings of the Reviw Panel for the sake of continuity, and to take a informed decision thereafter. Why single out Andrew Hildtch? Wasn't the touring selector Jamie Cox responsible for NOT selecting Nathan Hauritz for the Oval Test in The Ashes 2009? And for not selecting the fit Brett Lee for The Oval Test, thereby assuring us of an ashes win? Jamie Cox admitted to a wrong selection for this Test.When the new Selection panel is announced, I hope there will be a Selector from Victoria, like Bill Lawry, instead of two from Tasmania - David Boon and Jamie Cox.

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    well this should be interesting.............

  • Steve on March 11, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    I'm not saying that selections were not a contributor to the losses last summer however I will turn to history and point out a particular low point in Australian cricket. In the 70s under Bill Lawry we lost badly in India after no preparation matches prior to the test. The team then proceeded to South Africa, had one or two short warm up matches then straight into a test series. Bill wrote to the the Board of Control and said it was imposible to adapt from low slow pitches to fast bouncy ones with the lack of quality preparation. This summer the English played 4 or 5 warm up matches while our boys were still on holiday. Same happened in England where we played two games prior the tests after a long lay off from cricket. I bet the same happens in August in Sri Lanka, straight from the nets to the middle. Any given Australian team picked will be competitive given the right preparation. The last few series we have played we have little or no preparation prior to hitting the paddock

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