I'm supportive of this process - Nielsen
Tim Nielsen, the Australia coach, has said he is firmly in support of whatever measures are taken to improve cricket in the country despite the uncertainty over his future because of the recommendations made in the Don Argus report.
"The review's been done with the sole purpose of improving and getting Australian cricket back to where we want to be, at No.1, and that's what we're all about as a team and especially in my role as coach, that's what I'm all about," Nielsen said in Colombo on the eve of the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka. "I'm supportive of this process; I just need some time to ensure that we go through this process and get all the information before we start making too much comment."
The Argus report recommended that the coach's role be expanded to make him the leader of the overall coaching strategy for Australian cricket. The coach, along with the captain, will also be part of the five-member selection panel. However, it is not certain that Nielsen will be the man to fill the expanded role. Jack Clarke, CA's chairman, said "in a restructure, you don't just give someone the job in a new role" but added that Nielsen was welcome to re-apply for the role.
"I think the most important thing is it's been an exhaustive look at how we're going to get Australian cricket back to where it wants to be, No.1 in all forms of the game," Nielsen said. "You don't do that by skirting around the edges and having nice, feel-good looks at things and hoping you're going to fix things up by doing them the same way. We are 100,000% behind Australia being the best cricket team in the world and we're going to start that process by winning again tomorrow and pushing on from there."
Michael Clarke, Australia's Test and ODI captain, said that one of the major aspects of the Argus report was its emphasis on the necessity for an improvement in communication. "The positive from that is it allows the communication between selectors and players to be very clear now," he said. "It allows me to give the player the consistent feedback the player is probably searching for and to let him know the reasons for his selection or non-selection. It certainly makes me more accountable now and I look forward to the challenge."
Another fallout of the Argus report was the removal of Greg Chappell, the national talent manager, from the selection committee. According to the Daily Telegraph, Chappell was banned from the Australian dressing room while the team was batting, because he was a disconcerting influence. Clarke, however, said he had no problems with Chappell.
"My communications with Greg have been fantastic. He's been open and honest with me and I've been able to do the same back in return," he said. "My relationship with all the selectors has been fantastic and I'm certain that will continue."