The Ashes 2010-11 September 24, 2011

CA contributed to 'panic' before Ashes - Watson

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Watson, the Australia vice-captain, has criticised Cricket Australia and the selectors for contributing to a "growing sense of panic" among the players in the lead-up to the Ashes series in 2010-11. Australia were comprehensively beaten 3-1 in the Ashes, their first series defeat to England at home since 1986-87, prompting the Argus review and the subsequent changes adopted by board.

Watson lashed out at the decision to announce a provisional squad of 17, 10 days before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. ''I felt there was a growing sense of panic all over the place which, to be honest, wasn't helped by Cricket Australia announcing a bigger than usual Ashes squad," Watson wrote in his book Watto, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. "I don't know why the squad was named that early; there was still one more round of first-class games as well as the Australia A game against England to be completed … there was a sense of panic … and that spread throughout the team.''

The chopping and changing of bowlers during the Test series meant "they were absolutely sh*****g themselves every time they went out to bowl, because bowlers are the first ones to get dropped when things go wrong.

"Our batters … were failing throughout and nothing happened."

Since the Ashes defeat, Australian cricket has undergone significant changes, with coach Tim Nielsen and chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch stepping down.