Australia news July 6, 2011

Rod Marsh courts selection role


Rod Marsh has taken an interest in helping to lift Australian cricket out of its present rut, speaking with administrators about the possibility of joining the national selection panel.

Marsh is coming towards the end of a six-year stint as coaching director of the ICC global academy in Dubai, and is understood to have spoken to CA management about the selection panel and his desire to take part, preferably as chairman.

Formerly the head of the Australian cricket academy, now known as the Centre of Excellence (CoE), Marsh has recently spent time at the CoE in Brisbane with the Australia A and Australia squads ahead of their tours to Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, where he and the players enjoyed plenty of rapport.

At 63, Marsh is not contemplating retirement after his stint in Dubai. Instead, he may be about to embark upon perhaps his most difficult assignment since he concluded his international career as Australia's wicketkeeper in 1984, at the time holding the world record of 355 Test dismissals.

Steve Bernard, the former selector and Australian team manager, said Marsh "ticked all the boxes" and would be an ideal fit for a selection job.

"I've always found him a very astute judge of a cricketer and very knowledgeable about the game," Bernard told ESPNcricinfo. "He's got great experience in the game, his record with the academy as it was known then was fantastic and his own pedigree in cricket's terrific, so he ticks all of the boxes really, for a man who would be capable of doing a very good job as selector."

Communication and consistent messages between players and selectors has been cited by many as an issue, most notably by Simon Katich during his furious reaction to being dropped from the list of CA contracts. Bernard said Marsh, if appointed, would speak frankly and honestly with the players he dealt with.

"I think he showed that throughout his career as a player and in his role at the academy, he was very good and it's one of his great strengths, knowledge and communication skills," he said. "He's got pretty-much all of it. So yes, he would be a man who would be very good in that role I would think."

Should Marsh and CA reach terms, he would replace the incumbent chairman Andrew Hilditch, who is out of contract but has been retained until the conclusion of the current review into the performance of the Australian team. There is another vacancy on the panel following the resignation of David Boon to become an ICC match referee, leaving open the possibility of a re-shuffle that precedes the release of the review findings.

Hilditch has faced heavy criticism across his tenure, particularly when he stated his panel had done "a very good job" during last summer's horrid home Ashes defeat. As recently as June, Hilditch said he had no intention of standing aside, but would do so if a better option emerged.

"I'll just keep doing it until someone wants me to stop," Hilditch said. "It's one of the greatest periods in the sense that it's just so demanding, but at the same time it's exciting for the players because they have great challenges, and we have great challenges as a selection panel to get it right.

"I've been very lucky; I didn't have much of a contribution to Australian cricket as a player, but I'm really enjoying this role, doing the best I possibly can. If someone decides there's a better way to go then I'll be fully supportive of that as well."

The most vexing matter at hand if Marsh became chairman would be the role of Greg Chappell, who as CA's national talent manager and selector seemed the man next in line to take the chair. Chappell and Marsh, former team-mates in the feared Australian teams of the 1970s and early 1980s, are both known for strong opinions and would have to reach an understanding about how the roles would work. CA had faced plenty of obstacles to the dual positions of chairman and national talent manager last summer.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lou on July 9, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    It would be good to have someone with a fine reputatoin with coaching and young players, but he can't magic up players that aren't there. So we can't expect too much yet. I would hope he wouldn't spout the kind of garbage we have to put up with from Hilditch, Clarke and Nielsen.

  • Brenton on July 8, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Go Rod! Come on CA give him the chairman's job, he is by far the most qualified. Appoint him tomorrow!

  • Antony on July 8, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Rightly or wrongly, Kim Hughes was the skipper, and deserved the respect of his team. That he didn't get it, especially from his senior players, who to man should have known better, is a huge blight on Australian cricket.

  • Richard on July 7, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    One can only hope guys. Never been a big Hilditch fan, as a player or an administrator.

  • Martin on July 7, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    This might be the beginning of the end for those jokers on the current selection panel - but it's still going to take a while to build Aus up again. @Blokker; Kim Hughes was a woos. Marsh was right then and he's right now.

  • Basil on July 7, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Sounds good. Having said that, Krusty the Clown on an all night bender would make better selection decisions than the current clowns.

  • Justin on July 7, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    If selection into this role is anything like how we pick players at a national level then I wouldnt be supprised if Steve Smith gets position over Marsh. However jokes aside this looks to be a good move.

  • Nick on July 7, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    No doubt Marsh is the best man to look after Australian cricket interests, just look at what he did for England...bloody traitor ;-)

  • Clinton on July 7, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    This is a great opportunity for Australian Cricket. They can employ Rod Marsh to a full time position as chairman of selectors. In the other position, vacated by Boony, they could appoint Allan Border also in a full time role. They should then axe Nielsen, to be replaced by Steve Waugh as head coach and employ Shane Warne to be a slow bowling coach, while Dennis Lillee should also be asked to help out with the fast bowlers, along side Mcdermott. During periods where the team is not playing, the selectors (along with the coaches) should be required to spend time with the state squads, or at the Centre of Excellence, helping the next level of cricketers to be ready for if they are required to step up into the national squad.

  • sreekant on July 7, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    hope this guy gets appointed,there would very good changes if he is appointed and hope CA takes him in.I would be more happier if hilditch is ditched that would be the biggest and best decision taken by CA.

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