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

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