Australia news August 19, 2011

The Argus review recommendations

ESPNcricinfo staff

As part of the Argus review into Australia's team performance, the Cricket Australia board has announced a number of short-term and long-term steps as they aim to push the side back to No. 1 in the world rankings. The decisions include:

  • The immediate creation of a new senior management position, the general manager team performance, who will be responsible for the team, coaching, selection, Centre of Excellence and will work with state cricket performance and talent managers.
  • The general manager operations, Michael Brown, will continue to be responsible for scheduling, memorandum of understanding negotiations, security and anti-corruption, state and other competitions, umpires and coaches.
  • The introduction of a five-man selection panel, including a full-time chairman, two part-time selectors monitoring state cricket, and the Australian team captain and coach. The national talent manager will not be a selector.
  • The head selector will be responsible for performance management, including communication of selection policy and strategy, evaluation of and communication with individual players, including outside the national squad, co-ordination of player development plans, and succession planning.
  • A new coaching structure will be introduced, with a head coach who is also a selector. The coach will have an expanded role with greater authority and accountability, and will work with the Centre of Excellence and state associations to direct Australian cricket's overall coaching strategy.

The Argus review also recommended a number of other moves, which the board has not ratified but will consider in the near future. They include:

  • Retaining a ten-round Sheffield Shield competition with multiple Shield rounds before the first Test each year.
  • Reviewing the Futures League and recognising grade cricket as a vital part of the pathway, reviewing the composition and structure of under-age competitions and placing more focus on Australia A and using it as a genuine second XI.
  • Reviewing Australian cricket's first-class pitch strategy, with each pitch to offer a balance between bat and ball, and each pitch to be unique to local conditions, offering Test-equivalent conditions.
  • Improving injury management
  • Improving national coaching systems.
  • Aligning cricket's incentive systems, including the MOU, to give greater emphasis to linking reward with performance and to ensure player payment incentives for Test cricket reflect its position as cricket's premium format.
  • Reviewing the number of CA contracts.
  • Carefully assessing Big Bash League private ownership implications to ensure private ownership does not incentivise BBL expansion in a way that could compromise Australia's goal to be the No.1-ranked Test nation.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on August 22, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    @Prem_Baba; Read the full report. Ponting's captaincy was put under the grill. He didn't come out looking good one little bit. Looks like Argus and his mates agree with me. Now, perhaps finally, I have won the argument about Ponting. As for the rest of the report - it doesn't follow that just because changes are made - that these are either the right changes or that the right people get put into place. Australian cricket is in one hell of a mess and it will take time, 3-5 years to put it right.

  • Andrew on August 22, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    Pt 2. - At the moment state contracts are about $70k, & $50k T20. What IMO Cric Oz should do is instead of paying players $300k or whatever the base level contracts are, they should say match the State amounts for 1/2 of the contracts. I'm in favour of 30 contracts, the 12 most important test players get contracts as per currently, have another 8 "top up" contracts for Tests, 3 ODI & 2 T20 & 5 Rookie contracts. The way it would be costed/weighted could actually be cheaper than what the current 25 are. Top 12 - Clarke © Watson (vc) M Johnson Ponting M Hussey Haddin Hauritz Siddle Khawaja Paine Harris Hughes in order. Top ups - O'Keefe Smith Hilfenhaas Butterworth Copeland Katich Cosgrove D Hussey ODI contracts - Lee Hastings S Marsh T20 Contracts - White Christian Rookie Contracts - Cummins Lyon Lynn Faulkner M Marsh As I said previously the top ups & Short forms + Rookie contracts may only total a bit over a $1m, a lot less than currently paying!

  • Andrew on August 22, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    @StraightHit - I'd argue that we have at least one bowler troubling SL in SL! -- --- -- @All re: contracts. I actually don't think there is a need to reduce the number of contracts, (actually prefer to see them increased)! I think there is a need for Cric Oz to provide Rookie Contracts for young player like Cummins & Lyon. A Rookie contract would be available for two consecutive years & could just be a top up of their State contracts. I think their should be places for Short format specialists, with the rest being for Test, this would give Oz the ability for Oz to "insure" against young talent failure. For Example say Hughes & Marsh fail (even Watto as well)- Katich could be on a retainer/state-top-up & be brought back in while we search for another candidate. Our football codes operate on a club level, whereby their are 25 contracted players, they have a higher attrition rate than cricket, BUT, we are talking about our National team. I'm not saying pay them all $500k each. (TBC)

  • Aidan on August 20, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    @ Kangaroo - I don't know how I feel about coach as selector - for whatever reason Waugh and Taylor have had a chnage of mind on this one. However captian as selector is nothing new in Aussie cricket.

  • Lou on August 19, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    Batsmen number11, the report is on the CA website, they have released it to the public.

  • Dummy4 on August 19, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Not read teh complete 40 page report. But these bullet points sound good. Yes most solutions are obvious but I guess a formal organisation needs to consider many things before coming to conclusions. In hindsight they all may appear obvious ones but then thats always how we feel after batsman gets out playing the wrong shot.

    Overall I wd thing Argus have exceeded expectations for a brief like this.

  • Dummy4 on August 19, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Captain as a selector? Is there any precedent for this? Obvious conflict of interest, Clarke will undermine selection of anyone who is a threat to his position in the team and or his captaincy. Bob Simpson was coach and selector and cut of at the knees many a promising career.

  • Luke on August 19, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    @Mervo: Are you kidding? This is massively massive, the two biggest and most powerful people in Australian cricket gone overnight. And good riddance too...

  • Prem on August 19, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    How about Ponting's mediocre captaincy, Neilson's ineffective coaching and Sutherland's lack of vision and leadership? How have they escaped from more scathing criticism in the report?

  • Steve on August 19, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    But for once in a lifetime spinner like Warne, spin hasn't been Aussies forte in the last 2/3 decades. Pace bowling was. So, I think CA should stop this obsession about increasing their spin bowling strength. Even if they can develop a few average bowlers, they won't pose any real worry to sub-continent teams like SL, Pak, BD and Ind. They must strive to produce real fast bowlers and play to their strengths.

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