Australia news August 19, 2011

The Argus review recommendations

ESPNcricinfo staff
33

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

  • 5wombats 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.

  • Meety 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!

  • Meety 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)

  • AidanFX 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.

  • Winsome on August 19, 2011, 20:15 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Webba84 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...

  • Ms.Cricket 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?

  • CricketChat 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.

  • 5wombats 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.

  • Meety 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!

  • Meety 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)

  • AidanFX 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.

  • Winsome on August 19, 2011, 20:15 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Webba84 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...

  • Ms.Cricket 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?

  • CricketChat 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.

  • Batsnumbereleven on August 19, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Link to a copy of the review, please, cricinfo staff. If you can read it, why can't we?

  • Junior319 on August 19, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    The reason for England's no 1 ranking is due to their lack of home grown talent. Would they be no 1 without Pietersen, Trott, Prior and Strauss ? Me thinks not .... They have unashamedly chosen overseas born players for decades and have finally found a few good ones at the same time.

  • AidanFX on August 19, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    This a good review and worthwile exercise. Now this has been released a lot of people are saying things like " well daa I could have said that.. us fans could have said all this stuff". That may be true of some of the basic findings but this a far more extensive review that addresses other issues. MT and SW know more than us average cricket fans,; their pulse is on the game and wearing the baggy green meant something to those men. I am glad they were apart of the review process. Let me highlight a few points I am happy came out. "Reviewing Aust cricket's first-class pitch strategy, with each pitch to offer a balance between bat and ball" (Where India have gone wrong) "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" (includes other similar findings above) - GOOD!

  • Mervo on August 19, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    It took all this time for this? Now bring back Katich.

  • thebeaker on August 19, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    So the The Argus Review basically means CA will be emplying many of the initatives that have been in place within the ECB for a few years now.

  • AidanFX on August 19, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    I am glad time was spent on this review - I hope it doesn't effect the Australians on their tour and become a distraction; in any case the bip picture is more important than one tour.

  • george204 on August 19, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    You'd have thought that the Pitch Strategy & the Sheffield Shield recommendations were so blindingly obvious that they didn't need saying. Good stuff in this report, but did it really need 8 months of analysis to arrive at these conclusions?

  • spongebat_squarestumps on August 19, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    No adoption of a pink cricket ball... ? Bloody marvelous, that!

  • MrJames on August 19, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    How bout this

    STOP MESSING WITH THE SPINNERS AND KEEP NATHAN HAURITZ. The selectors treatment of Hauritz during the Ashes series was disgusting and showed their ineptitude.

  • Thenextbigbird on August 19, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Getting the sheffield shield back into a genuine first class competition, along with the Australia A suggestions is something I've been crying out for. England's domestic competition at the moment is arguably the best in the world by a mile, and the way they are managing their players, Nationally and Internationally is why they are currently the #1 team. The reason for depth in cricket relies heavily on the domestic circuit, which I believe was evident for Australia back in the 90's, when players like Mark Waugh were replaced by the likes of Damien Martyn, Taylor by Hayden, and so forth, because our domestic circuit was so good. In my opinion, this whole 'end of an era' thing could have been prevented, had the sheffield shield been maintained in such high regard. And with a current overdose of the big bash, Sheffield Shield cricket has become less of a priority, so turning this around is the key to any sort of future success for Australian cricket.

  • ArsalanMujahidGhouri on August 19, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    How they will find a good spinner. I could not find the clause for it :)

  • on August 19, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I'm very valued by the recommendations submitted by the new panel. By being a HR professional i have envisioned that all what we practices in Terms of HRM or the latest term Talent Management should apply for anything that involve human factor to get the best out of it.

    As I always believe to hold any position and to be successful, first and foremost the incumbent should be a Human because you are there to be deal with every aspects of human, if one who doesn't understand (it is in human) you can't achieve anything from Human. it is the baseline for anything and very simple but most foregone,, it is why the world is dying so quickly.

    Cricket Australia should Consult top HR professionals who understand the Cricket would be a bonus any get their views to streamline every process in terms of what panel has recommended. It's the best way forward not only for Australian Cricket anything involves human Factor.Good luck Cricket Australia!!!!!!!!

  • ygkd on August 19, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    There is no cause for excitement yet. Best to wait and see how it all comes out it in the wash. But at least things look, at long last, on the up...

  • zingzangspillip on August 19, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Well, anyone who knows anything about cricket in Australia has been saying this stuff since the Ashes, especially the ideas in the second part. It's taken a while, but I suppose we should be glad that it's finally here. Whether or not these ideas will be followed by CA is another matter.

  • on August 19, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    OK, so its great that Hilditch and Chappel look like they're on the way out. But I don't know what else is going to come from this now. CA have jumped on board the recommendations which appoint people in different positions, as this is relatively simple to do. But the best ones that will really fix Australia's cricket are only being 'considered' - these being the Shield season, pitches and BBL. Australia needs to focus back on test and first class cricket to be the best again. We didn't become the world's best ODI side because we focused so hard on them at the expense of tests. We were so good at test cricket and had excellent test cricketers, meaning they had the proper cricket skills and could apply them to great effect in the shorter form. Focusing on the longer forms creates better players, which creates a better test team, which will then flow on to the shorter forms. But all CA can see is the $$, hence they are only 'considering' those options

  • RandyOZ on August 19, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    "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. " This should be assessed ASAP. Also, why is there a recommendation for a review of the number of contracts?? This should have happened in this review and it should have recommended a 3 tier contract system.

  • Prats6 on August 19, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    this is good. Hope something like this takes place in India. I guess our result in Eng will force us to act.

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I really like everything I am reading- whereas other test nations seem to be moving away from prioritising test cricket this seems to be guaranteeing the future. At least in England and Australia test cricket will continue to be paramount. Maybe we might see the ashes in the future (as it was before the second war) the pinnacle of the sport. Great news all round for Australian cricket (and not a mention of day night test cricket!) Fantastic.

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Just waiting for other boards to follow suit ...No 1 or not Cricket Australia continue to set the standards

  • s.sreekant on August 19, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    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.

    this should be considered and not left for future. recently Aus A has been given lesser focus, it should be seen that anyone picked for A team must be in line for selection and must be given first priority for main team selection ahead of other surprise picks.

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Having 25 contracted players is too many. Some never end up getting a game or developing a career, once making their debut. It takes time for a cricketer to mature and establish himself at test level. Limit it to 15 instead, that way players will have to work harder at state level to get a contract. 25 players cannot squeeze into 11 in a test team so have your 1st XI, then a 12th man and three back up: a batsmen, a keeper and a bowler. Then you have a perfect team.

  • straight_drive4 on August 19, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    ohh those recommendations are awesome!!

  • Dashgar on August 19, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    All pretty obvious, but that was kindof the point. Australian cricket has a lot of underlying strength, but on the surface that strength isn't being brought to bear.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Dashgar on August 19, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    All pretty obvious, but that was kindof the point. Australian cricket has a lot of underlying strength, but on the surface that strength isn't being brought to bear.

  • straight_drive4 on August 19, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    ohh those recommendations are awesome!!

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Having 25 contracted players is too many. Some never end up getting a game or developing a career, once making their debut. It takes time for a cricketer to mature and establish himself at test level. Limit it to 15 instead, that way players will have to work harder at state level to get a contract. 25 players cannot squeeze into 11 in a test team so have your 1st XI, then a 12th man and three back up: a batsmen, a keeper and a bowler. Then you have a perfect team.

  • s.sreekant on August 19, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    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.

    this should be considered and not left for future. recently Aus A has been given lesser focus, it should be seen that anyone picked for A team must be in line for selection and must be given first priority for main team selection ahead of other surprise picks.

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Just waiting for other boards to follow suit ...No 1 or not Cricket Australia continue to set the standards

  • on August 19, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I really like everything I am reading- whereas other test nations seem to be moving away from prioritising test cricket this seems to be guaranteeing the future. At least in England and Australia test cricket will continue to be paramount. Maybe we might see the ashes in the future (as it was before the second war) the pinnacle of the sport. Great news all round for Australian cricket (and not a mention of day night test cricket!) Fantastic.

  • Prats6 on August 19, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    this is good. Hope something like this takes place in India. I guess our result in Eng will force us to act.

  • RandyOZ on August 19, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    "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. " This should be assessed ASAP. Also, why is there a recommendation for a review of the number of contracts?? This should have happened in this review and it should have recommended a 3 tier contract system.

  • on August 19, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    OK, so its great that Hilditch and Chappel look like they're on the way out. But I don't know what else is going to come from this now. CA have jumped on board the recommendations which appoint people in different positions, as this is relatively simple to do. But the best ones that will really fix Australia's cricket are only being 'considered' - these being the Shield season, pitches and BBL. Australia needs to focus back on test and first class cricket to be the best again. We didn't become the world's best ODI side because we focused so hard on them at the expense of tests. We were so good at test cricket and had excellent test cricketers, meaning they had the proper cricket skills and could apply them to great effect in the shorter form. Focusing on the longer forms creates better players, which creates a better test team, which will then flow on to the shorter forms. But all CA can see is the $$, hence they are only 'considering' those options

  • zingzangspillip on August 19, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Well, anyone who knows anything about cricket in Australia has been saying this stuff since the Ashes, especially the ideas in the second part. It's taken a while, but I suppose we should be glad that it's finally here. Whether or not these ideas will be followed by CA is another matter.