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Player selector relations can improve - Chappell

Daniel Brettig

June 17, 2011

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting has a word with Greg Chappell, Brisbane, November 22, 2010
"The players are always saying they'd like open and honest appraisals of where they're at" © Getty Images

Australia's selectors agree that communications between the national panel and the players it chooses, for national contracts and teams, are not what they should be.

In the aftermath of the Simon Katich episode, the selectors have refused to comment publicly again until the chairman Andrew Hilditch names the squads for the tour of Sri Lanka in July. But last month Greg Chappell told ESPNcricinfo that the lines of inquiry to the selectors, and their feedback to players, could be improved.

"I think it's in a good place. Can it be in a better place? Probably," Chappell said in a feature interview. "You're always looking to improve those relations, and particularly the communications. Most players like to know where they stand.

"Some of the more established perhaps feel pretty confident and comfortable with where they're at, but there might be players on the fringe of the team or just new to the surroundings who probably need a bit more comfort and discussion about the position, the role and all the expectations.

"The players are always saying they'd like open and honest appraisals of where they're at. Trying to achieve that is a constant exercise, but receiving bad news is never easy, delivering bad news is never easy. The chairman of selectors is the one who has to deliver that news and it isn't always well received, obviously."

Chappell also noted that the selection process had not changed much at all in the time between his first stint as a selector that ended in 1988 and the present day, even though the game around it had changed irrevocably.

"It's very different in that we have professional first-class cricket now as opposed to the 80s, when I was originally involved," he said. "Being a full-time selector obviously makes it different. There's a few more layers in the system these days, and my role on the national selection panel has a very large youth component to it.

"I am full-time and I am working with people in the states and the Centre of Excellence. There's a bit more depth to it and a bit more day-to-day responsibility than just turning up to selection meetings and picking teams. But the process hasn't changed that much."

Australian cricket's structure for the 2011-12 season is being changed significantly again by the expansion of the Twenty20 competition and its eight newly-manufactured teams. Chappell admitted that T20 did run the risk of diverting focus from the development of the national team.

"Yes, it can (divert focus). I think Twenty20 is good; the changes to the Big Bash League have the potential to be very positive for Australian cricket. Dealing with the challenges that it presents will be important at many levels - at a state level and at the national level," Chappell said. "Being an employee of CA, and a member of the NSP, I have a focus on Australian cricket.

"There's no doubt that the money available with Big Bash leading into the Champions League means that the franchises, the states as owners of the franchises, have some focus in that area, which just means that all our other competitions and how they are run… the focus on those competitions is going to be even more important than in the past."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (June 20, 2011, 2:29 GMT)

@5wombats - great comedy re "...THAT was the mistake that cost Aus the 2009 and 2010/11 Ashes..." - apart from the fact that you are more or less saying that Oz should of won those series with better selection policies, 2009 Ashes is a ridiculous series to include in the Katich/Ponting debate. Whilst England did very well in most of the key moments in that series, statistically they were inferior to Oz in that series. Not selecting a spinner in the final test is THE MAIN reason why the Ashes were surrendered. Other non Ponting reasons, McGrath & Warne retired after 06/07, we technically had Warne covered with McGill who got injured & never recovered even though he could of played another 2 to 5yrs. Also McGrath should theoretically been covered by a pace attack that injury free would of been Lee, Clark & Johnson. MJ would of been nurtured under Stuey & Binga & not thrust into the spearhead role. Clark & Lee were not fully fit circa 2009.

Posted by fazald on (June 19, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Popcorn your allegations about Doug Bollinger & Michael Hussey opting to play in the IPL in South Africa during the test series against India is not correct. You will be shocked to hear this. In fact Boulinger & Hussey wanted to return to join the squad in India befor the IPL finals but were told by either Sutherland or Hilditch to complete their assignment with Chenai Super Kings who were in the finals before they returned to India.As a result they arrived only a day or two before the first test & hardly had anytime to acclimatise to the Indian conditions & were already too tired.Boulinger broke down halfway through that series & had to return home.India only just managed to win the third test by one wicket to clinch the series 2-1. Another incident where our selectors handed over victory to the opposition on a platter was in the final ashes test in England in 2009 by dropping Hauritz on a turning wicket & losing the ashes 2-1. They should take the blame for both series defeats.

Posted by farkin on (June 19, 2011, 9:01 GMT)

don't for get this man told his brother to bowl under arm

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

@5wombats don't know if you read the comments of Bryce McGain during the week regarding how the national side be chosen but basically his argument was that there shouldn't be any youth policies or rebuilding cycles like the AFL or NRL and that players should be picked based purely on form even if it means that there's a side full of 37 year olds. Apart from sounding like a bitter and washed up has-been who was an average spinner I'm very glad that he isn't a selector because it is that type of short-sightedness that has made the downfall of this Australia team worse.

The inconsistencies of the selectors decisions hasn't helped and while I don't want to sound like a whinging Victorian I still don't understand why Hodge was dropped on a 'technique' issue whereas Michael "I like to hit the ball in the air constantly" Clarke gets reprieve after reprieve. If you're going to judge players harshly based on some technical issue then apply it across the board and not just selectively.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 6:38 GMT)

@ Praxis your comments regarding the obsession with finding another Warne are spot on. Correct me if I'm wrong but since Warne retired I think we've had no less than 20 different spinners come in and out of the side. What for? There's no point playing a spinner just for the sake of 'team balance' if he is nothing but cannon fodder even in the subcontinent because you would be better off picking 4 decent fast bowlers instead. @Barnesy4444 those players you mentioned had good careers but being able to identify, nurture develop talent are completely different to playing the game.

Posted by hyclass on (June 19, 2011, 1:35 GMT)

I have a low regard for Chappell.In charge of Sth Aust,he failed.In charge of India,he failed.In charge of Future Leagues,he introduced age and over limits that badly weakened the competition and have been revoked.He obsesses over youth and impugnes the Shield Comp.Here is a list of players with 1st class average followed by test average showing why,over time,averages are THE BEST selection guide: Watson-FC-46.76 TEST-41.55,BWL-FC-28.46-TEST-31.41, Hughes-FC-50.79-TEST-39.55, Katich-FC-53.31-TEST-45.03, Ponting-FC-55.98-TEST-53.51, Clarke-FC-44.61-TEST-44.69, Hussey-FC-52.47-51.09, North-FC-42.66-TEST-35.48, Haddin-FC-40.80-TEST-39.68, Smith-FC-42.11-TEST-28.77,BWL-FC-48.17-TEST-73.33, Johnson-FC-23.89-TEST-22.15,BWL-FC-30.5-TEST-29.71, Siddle-FC-28.18-TEST-32.1, Hilfenhaus-FC-29.93-TEST-34.61, Doherty-FC-47.73-TEST-102, Krezja-FC-47.85,43.23, Hayden-FC-52.57-TEST-50.7, Gilchrist-FC-44.16-TEST-47.60, Langer-FC-50.23-TEST-45.27, Martyn-FC-49.25-TEST-46.37, Mark Waugh-FC-52.04-TEST-41.81

Posted by fazald on (June 18, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

Greg Chappell is all talk & no action. Only action we have seen so far since his appointment as a full- time selector is further decline in our standards in world cricket rankings. We expected atleast he could infuse some sanity into the selection process regarding decisions taken in recent times but nothing fruitful to aussie cricket has happened so far.The same drama continues where players who have performed get axed( Katich, Mckay, Starc) whilst those who keep failing regularly get selected( Smith, Doherthy, White, Johnson) & those who perform well for their states ( O'Keefe, Jacques, Hodge) have been totally ignored.How can there be good player selector relationship when there is total confusion & frustration among certain players who are being victimised due to some mysterious reasons by our selectors.As such this so called player selector closer relationship is just another empty talk from Greg Chappell & is not to be taken seriously.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (June 18, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Gilchrist, Hayden, what are these blokes doing? They should be putting their hands up to be coach or selector instead they are getting paid good money for talking on TV.

Phil Hughes should never have been dropped in 2009. His confidence hasn't recovered. Thanks selectors. Come on you other blokes put your bloody hands up.

Posted by popcorn on (June 18, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

Twenty 20 may not be bad, IPL definitely is. The ONLY way Cricket Boards can put their foot down is : When a Test Team or ODI Team is announced for a Home or Away Tour,and a Conditioning Camp is announced, and some of those players are in IPL or Champion League Teams as well,if those players opt to play in the IPL,rather than undergo Conditioniung Training - like Mike Hussey and Dougie Bollinger did, they should AUTOMATICALLY be removed from the Test / ODI Team.Let them choose between Club or Country.We saw how unprepared and unfit Dougie Bollinger and Mike Hussey were for the Away Tour of India.

Posted by popcorn on (June 18, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

Greg Chappell has put his foot in his mouth. Would you call Simon Katich " a player on the fringe of the team" or a "more established" player? Wouid you say "he feels pretty confident and comfortable with where he's at"? And then you axe him without notice? Is THIS communication?

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (June 18, 2011, 8:21 GMT)

Player selector relations can improve - Chappell. Also Pope is Catholic and Bears defecate in the woods

Posted by   on (June 18, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

Steve Waugh...WHERE ARE YOU? HELP!

Posted by rustyryan on (June 18, 2011, 6:10 GMT)

So happy for aussies to have Greg as their selector. :) So aus would exit in the first round of 2015 wc. and wil never win any ashes until Greg is removed. C'mon Greg, Show your antics. Greg's circus show is started

Posted by   on (June 18, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

as long as greg chappel is there,,, their is no woory for other teams to beat australia

Posted by farkin on (June 18, 2011, 2:30 GMT)

the rot has set into the Australian selection panel and the last time greg chappell was on the selection panel Australia was going bad

Posted by 5wombats on (June 17, 2011, 20:25 GMT)

@Kevin Jong; Well said - Dead right! The "Great Team" that got beat in the 2005 Ashes put its collective heads together around Ponting and said - "We'll all stay on and set the record straight against the Poms in 2006/07". So every Aussie and his dog had a great laugh at Englands expense during that 06/07 Ashes. But - who is laughing now??? THAT was the mistake that cost Aus the 2009 and 2010/11 Ashes. The old players stayed on and there was no room for up and coming players. It's fallen to Chappell to try and undo the damage that was set in train 6 years ago. It's not his fault - but some people, players included, are trying to make out that it is.

Posted by pommiebangwa on (June 17, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

Greg Chappell loves to mess with Over 30, Left Handed Opening Batsmen! Lets just put it that way! :)

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (June 17, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

I think there should be a think tank comprising of Chappell, Buchanan and Hilditch. Keep Ricky Ponting and Clarke as players representatives. They should make long term revival plans for Australia. Yeah, that should work.

Posted by Lovetesh on (June 17, 2011, 18:34 GMT)

Greg is Aussie problem now. Not interested in knowing what he thinks. I only felt for Katich who was a good cricketer and just got booted because he is 35. Dumb decision!!

Posted by Praxis on (June 17, 2011, 16:55 GMT)

@Kevin Jong, what you say is absolutely true. Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden and others retired within a short period of time. That didn't help the transition of youth in the team. Inconsistency in selection process and the obsession with finding another Warne almost destroyed the team already. How many test caps have been given in the past few years? I just read another article where Fletcher was saying something about giving the youngsters enough opportunity so the can settle their game and start performing actually. Age, form or whatever that is used to make the current XI, I believe this isn't the best possible combination now.

Posted by Praxis on (June 17, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

@dsig3, well I come form a small town located somewhere in the lowest ranked test playing nation :) I guess saying "good first class structure" would've been better than "large talent pool". Every other nation may dwarf this pool, but in terms of competitiveness, quality and culture you are supposed to have the best one(other than county cricket maybe...)

Posted by Alexk400 on (June 17, 2011, 16:17 GMT)

Greg Chappell == CHAOS nearby

Posted by CricketChat on (June 17, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

I have said it before, Greg should return to what he knows best, coaching promising batsmen in that development/training center in Aus. The longer he fiddles with selection committee, the more damage he causes. The sooner CA administration realizes it and rearranges selection committee, the better for Aus cricket and for even Greg, who has surely become an object of ridicule from all and sundry.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor: Give me a player nurtured by Greg currently playing for India. His HR management is not good. I believe its because of wright and ganguly, India is now at the top. Greg may have contributed something...but the credit is with above duo.

Posted by Jim1207 on (June 17, 2011, 13:27 GMT)

While many people say that Greg was the catalyst for change in Indian minds, they absolutely forget what John Wright did to Indian cricket, producing results from a team which looked like how Bangladesh is now!!

Posted by Sanj747 on (June 17, 2011, 11:48 GMT)

Might be a start if Messrs Chappell and Hilditch walked out the gate and never came back. Sutherland and Nielsen can follow.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

@ praxis the selectors are to blame for the slide because they didn't bother planning for the future when Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne were no longer around. Instead of bringing in new younger players after the 05 Ashes so that there was a balance of youth and experience for some strange reason they brought in two 30 year olds in Hussey and Clark which meant that by the time the 06 Ashes series started we had just one player in the starting XI who wasn't over the age of 30.

People can argue that they should be picked on form regardless of age but in the 18 months that followed we paid for it when all that experience left the side and there was no one to replace them because we refused to rotate younger players through the side when the team was playing well. This attitude that veterans should be given more time to get back in form or dictate when they retire because they've 'earned it' is garbage and needs to change because the team can't carry them forever.

Posted by dsig3 on (June 17, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

Dont know where you come from Praxis but Australia's talent pool is only larger than NZ, WI and possibly Zim. Every other nation dwarfs our small talent pool.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (June 17, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

"(that equals about 500 million people!)" ---- Nah. That's 600 million people! That apart, Greg in his own way was the catalyst in letting the players realise they needed to change. Indian cricket changed because of Greg ( thank god for keeping Ganguly out) and the IPL which emphasised fielding and fitness. After the 2007 WC debacle, the Indians were in a lot more pressure to win and that too when the WC was at home. Greg emphasised on nurturing youngsters and developing a talent pool. He liked to experiment with team compositions and batting orders while tackling opposition. He was a good thinking strategist. He say people as a combination of talent + attititude and that's the right way. So he gave high marks to Yuvraj on talent but low on attitude. Yuvraj predictably had a see-saw career. Contrary to what the Bengali driven media in India projects, Greg was also admired by many, even if it had not been every second Indian. :P

Posted by MaxG9 on (June 17, 2011, 9:10 GMT)

Ha ha ha. Katich probably feels that he is a player who is one of the 'more established' but I doubt very much he is one who feels ' pretty confident & comfortable where they are at'!!!

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

I think, something we admired about Australian cricket a decade ago, has now turned in to a problem. Technology and professionalism. A decade ago, they had the perfect blend of flair, great sportsmen, athletes and the odd innovative thinkers in Chappel and Buchanan. But now they're just overdoing the technology and professionlism bit. End of the day it's a game not a business. And somewhere in the mix you need guys like Ian Chappell, Rod Marsh, Lillee and the likes. Men who keep things simple and straight and believe in hard work and patience. Around them you need good managers.

And as an aside, let Greg and Buchanan experiment. If something clicks try it out in domestic leagues.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 8:36 GMT)

nothing is ever going to work if greg or ian chappell are involved

Posted by zephyrboss on (June 17, 2011, 8:24 GMT)'ve again brought our favorite whipping boy over. Thank you. Greg's over-the-top measures,right from his playing days, have given him a bad name. Its funny that he still manages to polarize the views on the quality of his brains. Anyway, Aussies have chosen him at the helm of affairs...God bless 'em. Soon we shall witness the depth down under!

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (June 17, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

@Meety - nice one! The selectors will go and hide for a while until this washes over and the next big story hits. If nothing has happend to them by now (esp after the ashes) then why expect anything to happen. This is how it is, as frustrated as we (the aussie fans) are.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

Dear Mr Chappell... how to improve relations, particularly communication: actively engage it them - and if you weren't aware of that simply fact in the first place, perhaps this isn't the position for you.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Hi Mr Chappel.. oops! Meety .. Meety..

Thanks for commenting about an article on urself .. Now we know you have really gone into a hiding.. Behind Meety, that is ;-)

So many Aussie greats! and all they cud find was an old useless furniture named Chappal!

Posted by Chennaified on (June 17, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

Greg Chappell has always been misunderstood. He belongs to an era when whatever he did and said were done without question and to a great extent he still has that air about him. I honestly do believe he had the best of intentions for Indian cricket when he was at the helm and even now when he's chief selector.

He's a hard man and played to win all the time. I think he's trying to bring that side of him to Australian cricket and hope that it stops and reverses the spiraling downward trend. I'm not sure that it's the most effective way anymore given how much the world has changed and how cricket has changed with it. Good intentions, however good without the proper channeling and communication will almost always go amiss!!

I do hope the Australian team bounces back to where they were at 10 years ago or at the very least... somewhere there abouts. It would make for the most riveting cricket!!

Posted by Praxis on (June 17, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

Its kinda disappointing to see Australia struggling in test cricket despite having such a large talent pool. Only to blame the board officials & the coaching staffs.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

@Meety - those 500 mln would be right on the money.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

@ Meety, good one. But do you think 500 million people can be wrong!!!. Time and Australian cricket will tell

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (June 17, 2011, 6:40 GMT)

Bring back John Buchanan! Or, if we can't get him, can we at least get Allan Border? Geoff Marsh? Tom Moody? Someone competent? Just for a coach, I mean. As for selectors, for the life of me I can't understand why we can't have ex-players from our dominant era. Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden spring to mind, with Gilchrist obviously the chief selector. If we can't get them, then even someone like Justin Langer, Michael Bevan, Damien Martyn, heck, anyone from the dominant era would do. They should be the selectors. Not out of touch Greg Chappell, not players who never even made it to the international squad, and not players from poor eras. Our best team would still be number 1 in the world. Let's make sure we can put our best team on the park, please.

Posted by Meety on (June 17, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

Oh no Daniel! You've just run another Greg Chappell story! That means that every 2nd Indian (that equals about 500 million people!), are going to blog in saying something along the lines of "remember when Mr Chappell ruined our cricket team" AND "because of Mr Chappell we played badly in the 07 W/Cup" AND "Zaheer could of been a superstar by now if Mr Chappell hadn't ruined him for a couple of years" AND "he sacked Ganguly for no reason" AND "ha, ha Ozzys he is going to destroy your cricket team" blah blah blah! I'll keep a count. -- -- -- It really is a shame that the selectors are going into hiding until the SL tour is named. I suppose its because they are now toxic (Hilditch is), & anything they say or do will be howled down by all & sundry. I really would like to hear their analysis (player by player), on the make up of the central contracts & particularly of the omissions! -- -- -- I know this story is a bit of a re-hash but it keeps things interesting in the off-season!

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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