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.