Australia news June 14, 2013

Mark Taylor returns as Cricket Australia director

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Australia Test captain Mark Taylor has said he intends to use his new position as a Cricket Australia board member to help build the national team's leadership group after their problems in India and England. Taylor has returned as a Cricket Australia director after losing his position on the board last year when it was restructured.

He has been elected as the Cricket New South Wales representative on the CA board despite the fact that he is independent of Cricket New South Wales, a move that required the state organisation to amend its own constitution. Taylor has taken the position that had been filled temporarily by David Dilley, who in turn had replaced Harry Harinath, the former Cricket New South Wales chairman.

Harinath claimed the state's one guaranteed place on the CA board last year - controversially, for Taylor was considered a strong candidate - but Harinath stepped down earlier this year. Taylor had served on the CA board from 2004 to 2012, and his return to an official position within Cricket Australia raises the prospect of him playing more of a role in helping Michael Clarke's side.

A lack of leadership within the current team has been an issue since the retirements of Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting, notably at the time of the homework sackings in India and this week in England. Taylor said it was important that other senior players in the squad stood up to support Clarke now that Ponting and Hussey were gone.

"What you really get when you lose two players of that stature is that all the other guys - the Watsons, the Siddles, the Haddins - it's up to those guys to step up and form that leadership core," Taylor told the Sydney Morning Herald. "That's what I think Australia have got to get themselves to, and hopefully during this Ashes campaign. It's not ideal preparation but I don't want to blow it out of proportion either.

"I'll be doing whatever I can as a board director back here to try and instill that team feeling and build that leadership group. I know Michael [Clarke] very well and Michael and I have had a number of chats over the last three or four years. I hope that continues and I'm sure it will. Sometimes you need people who are outside that bubble to say to you 'well, this is what we see'. Sometimes it's good to have that input."

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