Australia news October 7, 2011

Bright eyes Australia selection role

Ray Bright, the former Test spinner, has expressed his interest in joining Australia's selection panel. Bright wants to bring a specialist slow-bowling viewpoint to the group, while Dean Jones is still keen on a selection role if he does not win the job as Pakistan's coach.

Australia are searching for three new selectors, including a full-time chairman and two part-time independent selectors, after the Argus review prompted the restructuring of the panel. One of the Argus recommendations was that, if possible, the panel should feature men with a mixture of batting and bowling expertise.

After the former fast man Merv Hughes was axed as a selector last year, the panel consisted of four ex-batsmen: Andrew Hilditch, Greg Chappell, David Boon and Jamie Cox. There had been no specialist spin input since the former legspinner Trevor Hohns departed in early 2006.

The five years that followed was precisely the period in which Australia needed a slow-bowling expert, as 11 spinners were tried in the Test team following Shane Warne's retirement. And while Nathan Lyon impressed during his Test debut in Sri Lanka, spin questions are likely remain in the coming months.

Bright took 53 Test wickets for Australia bowling left-arm spin in a career spanning ten years, and he believes he could offer plenty of experience on the new panel. A Victorian state selector during a period of great success for the Bushrangers over the past decade, Bright has also seen plenty of the country's best young players in his role as a national youth selector.

"I've put my hand up for an independent part-time selector," Bright told ESPNcricinfo. "I've been involved with Victoria for ten years now as a selector and also I've had about six years as a national youth selector, so I've seen a lot of the blokes running around now from an early age, Under-17s, and have seen a lot of the established players along the way.

"I'm always keen to promote spin and put my point of view on who might be best suited in certain conditions. I can certainly help any panel I'm on to find that balance. It doesn't do any harm to have a bit of a blend on any panel. It was probably a little bit heavily batting-based, one would have thought."

For the time being, Australia's squads are still being chosen by a caretaker selection panel made up of the incumbents - Hilditch, Chappell and Cox - and the captain and coach, who will be part of the new group. Cricket Australia last month advertised for selectors but they won't be appointed until the new position of general manager of team performance is filled.

Hohns, the former chairman of selectors, and Rod Marsh have been linked to the full-time national selector role, while Jones is interested in one of the part-time positions. However, he is also among the final candidates to become Pakistan's coach, and said in either position he would be hoping to contribute to the future of the game.

"I'd look more towards the part-time job [than the full-time position]," Jones said. "I want to put something more back into cricket. I want to get back on the other side of the fence and be a bit more interactive with the game, instead of being in the media, which I've really enjoyed."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo