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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    LOL @ Mattinbgn You seem to have forgotten about Merv being a selector or was he not Victorian enough for you?

  • Gilbert on October 8, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    @Chris_P, because he was not good enough.

  • Andrew on October 8, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    @Chris_P - good one re: (Jenner). I was also considering Dutchie Holland, but unfortunately Test cricket is played at venues other than the SCG!

  • Bert on October 8, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    Ray Bright is remembered as "the only Bowler" to consistently worry Geoff Boycott. He may turn out to be a good Selector as well!

  • Mark on October 7, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Maybe Bright should try out as a bowler again considring the incompitent nature of Australian cricket at the moment,, especially bowling. Maybe he can tell the bowlers around the country what a yorker is and what a good length is.

  • Peter on October 7, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    @Gilliana. He didn't play many tests in those years, get some perspective please. @Meety also add TJ, who contributed well when the Thommo/Lillee tornado was around. Although Bright was not a great achiever on the test fields, the fact is, he is very well versed authority and a great coach and talent spotter. He never rated himself highly, just an honest toiler. A good man to consider, for sure.

  • Mashuq on October 7, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    I agree with @Ben1989's panel. Jones would never make a good Pakistan coach anyway (let's not go into the reasons for that!). Very good points made also by @Adrian Meredith about poor selection decisions. Can't agree with his dissing oof Ashley Mallett, though. Here's hoping O'Keefe has a record more like Mallett than Candles!

  • Matt on October 7, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Former Australian captain and a Victorian! - good luck to Candles. Might stop the absurd aversion to selecting Victorian cricketers in the national team, despite dominating domestic cricket over the last half dozen or so years.

  • Brenton on October 7, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Rod Marsh as full time chariman. A spinner as part time. All we need is a part time fast bowler and a batsmen. Finally.

  • Gilbert on October 7, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    53 wickets in ten years! You've got to be joking.

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