Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel to join selection panel
Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel have been chosen as the two part-time members of the reconfigured Cricket Australia national selection panel. Their appointments leave that of the new head coach as the only role still to be filled ahead of the home summer.
Marsh, 64, and Bichel, 41, will bring sharp eyes and widespread respect to their roles as selectors focused on domestic cricket, on a panel led by the national selector John Inverarity and the Australia captain Michael Clarke. The national coach, yet to be named, will also be a selector.
As a relatively recent retiree from the game, Bichel brings a fresher outlook and also the perspective of a pace bowler to the panel, widely considered to be lacking in a diversity of viewpoints last summer when it was comprised of former top order batsmen in the chairman Andrew Hilditch, Jamie Cox, Greg Chappell and David Boon.
He has also taken a range of coaching positions since his exit from the game as a bowler, coaching Papua New Guinea and also serving as Chennai's bowling coach in the IPL.
"I'm looking forward to making a real contribution to game I love," Bichel said. "Over the last 20 years of international, state and county cricket, I've developed knowledge of the game that will assist me in this role. I've stayed close to the game and have been bowling coach to the Chennai Super Kings recently and have seen a lot of developing Australian talent perform in that competition.
"I'm really looking forward to working with John, Rod, Michael, Cameron and the incoming head coach as we continue to take Australian cricket in the right direction. I think over the last little period we've been on the right pathway and we'll be looking to identify the talent that will allow Australia to rise back up the rankings."
Marsh's inclusion on the panel in a part-time capacity is a logical conclusion to discussions with CA that began in mid-year, as he expressed a willingness to take part in the regeneration of the national team.
In addition to his long tenure behind the stumps for Australia, Marsh was much acclaimed for his work at the Cricket Academy in the 1990s, and also oversaw England's revival as a force in world cricket leading up to the 2005 Ashes series. He has since held positions with South Australia and also the ICC global academy in Dubai.
"I'm excited to be back working for Cricket Australia," Marsh said. "It's been a decade since I last worked for CA. Certainly, the most rewarding time I ever had was working with CA at the Academy in Adelaide. This is an important role and I'm looking forward to watching young Australian cricketers develop and to our established cricketers continuing to improve."
Importantly, Marsh and Inverarity have a strong and long-lasting cricketing association that dates back to the West Australian state teams of the 1970s.
Inverarity was Marsh's predecessor as captain of the state during a highly successful era, and will again serve as the senior man four decades later on a panel that will need to make plenty of strong decisions over the next few summers, starting with the composition of the team for the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba from December 1-5.
Inverarity is due to start his new role as national selector on November 14. His first act will be to fly to South Africa.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo