Australia news

Marsh named new chairman of selectors

Brydon Coverdale

May 2, 2014

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Australia's selectors, John Inverarity, Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel, Brisbane, November 29, 2011
Rod Marsh (centre) is the only selector to remain on the panel, besides coach Darren Lehmann © Getty Images

Rod Marsh has replaced John Inverarity as Australia's chairman of selectors in a significant shake-up of the panel that comes as the team sits on top of the world rankings in both Tests and ODIs.

Former selection chief Trevor Hohns has returned to the national selection panel for the first time since 2006, alongside first-time selector Mark Waugh, while Inverarity and Andy Bichel have departed. The coach Darren Lehmann remains part of the group, which was reduced from five men to four when captain Michael Clarke withdrew from his selection duties before last year's Ashes series in England.

Inverarity stood down after nearly three years as chairman and although he told Cricket Australia he was prepared to continue on the panel, the board decided it was time for some new faces. Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said Inverarity had performed admirably since taking charge of the selection duties in October 2011.

"When John Inverarity took over as national selector the Australian Test team was ranked fourth in the world and its on-field performance was well short of where it is today," Sutherland said. "He leaves his post with Australian teams in a position of strength holding the number one ranking in Test and one-day international cricket. That reflects his commitment and the astute judgment he brought to the role at a challenging time for Australian cricket.

"After deciding to stand down as chair, he recently indicated that he was prepared to continue on the national selection panel for another 12 months if required. Directors determined that with John stepping down as chairman, it was the appropriate time to bring new personnel into the group.

"Rod Marsh is the right man to take on this important role having been a key member of the panel since 2011. His track record speaks for itself. He brings a wealth of experience to the position, having been a leading player, coach and most recently a selector.

"Throughout his days as a player he was the absolute embodiment of the baggy green cap and to this day is widely respected throughout the game. He has a great eye for talent and has strong relationships throughout international cricket."

Inverarity said that at the age of 70 he would continue to maintain his interests in education and cricket "in a more part-time manner". "For some months I have been clearly of the mind that the end of my contract period on 30 June was the right time for me to step down in favour of Rod Marsh to chair the panel," he said. "Rod is the ideal person in every respect to take over and I would like to wish he and Darren, along with Trevor Hohns and Mark Waugh the very best in their new roles.

"I have certainly enjoyed the role and the success of the Australian teams in recent months has been pleasing. I would like to congratulate Michael Clarke and the players, Darren Lehmann and his support staff, Pat Howard and my fellow selectors on the very good news that came through yesterday regarding Australia now being ranked number one in both Test cricket and ODI cricket."

The departure of Bichel, who joined the panel at the same time as Marsh in November 2011, means that there will be no fast bowlers contributing to Australia's selection discussions, a curious absence given the way the attack has been rotated at times in the past. However, Cricket Australia said in a statement that Bichel's term on the panel had "not been renewed".

Waugh confirmed last month that he had been approached by Cricket Australia for a possible selection role and his presence as a BBL commentator for Channel 10 appears not to have prevented him from taking on the part-time position. Sutherland said Waugh would pay particular attention to the shorter formats, which would be crucial with a World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand next year.

NSW seek new supremo

  • Sheffield Shield holders New South Wales are mounting a global search for a new manager of cricket performance, in a wide-ranging role similar to that undertaken by Pat Howard in the wake of Cricket Australia's 2011 Argus review. The Cricket NSW, chief executive, Andrew Jones, played a key role in the formulation of that review as CA's then head of strategy, and is now looking to appoint someone to a similar post overseeing the direction of the men's and women's state teams. "I firmly believe a combined and aligned elite cricket function will make it easier for CNSW to achieve our goal of being No.1 in Australian and world domestic cricket," Jones said, "and ultimately to be the No.1 sporting organisation in Australia."

"We think Mark will bring great experience to the role," Sutherland said. "His particular focus will be on our limited-overs program. He was one of the world's greatest one-day international players. We think he can add a lot, particularly in an important World Cup year."

The return of Hohns to the panel comes after he spent 13 years as a national selector from 1993 to 2006, including a full decade as chairman of the panel. For the past three years, Hohns has been Queensland's state talent manager and chairman of selectors, a role that he will relinquish when he rejoins the national panel. His time with the Bulls was significant in that he worked closely with Lehmann, building on a relationship that was more distant when the latter had his international career ended by Hohns' selection panel.

"I took on selection responsibilities with Queensland a couple of years ago and really enjoyed doing it again," Hohns said. "During that time I worked closely with Darren Lehmann where we developed a good working relationship. So to have the chance to work together again at a national level, along with Rod and Mark will be great. I'm genuinely looking forward to it. I enjoy the role and the responsibilities that go with selection and making a contribution to Australian cricket."

Like Hohns, Marsh will give up an existing role as part of the selection revamp, with Cricket Australia set to begin the search to find a replacement for him as CA's manager of elite coaching development. Marsh has been given a three-year term as chairman of selectors, which will begin when the new panel officially starts on July 1.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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Posted by   on (May 4, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

@Gordo85, if you don't know what state someone is from (Hohns is a Queenslander) don't comment. It's hard to bag Hohns for picking NSW guys when the team had Taylor, Slater, S Waugh M Waugh, M Clarke, Bevan, McGrath, S Clark, Bracken, Macgill etc etc etc and we kept winning..... They were from an extraordinary era of NSW talent but the same appiies now. You can expect NSW guys to be picked because even the NSW "leftovers" who move interstate e.g. Khawaja, Hughes, Bird, Cowan, Hastings, Forrest, Zampa, Silk etc have been picked or are close to it

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (May 4, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Gordo, Hohns is regarded by most as an outstanding cricket brain and his previous stint as a national selector corresponds with one of our greatest ever eras. Hohns + Marsh + Lehmann = pretty damn good for mine.

Posted by Salmon89 on (May 3, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

@Gordo85 - what are you talking about. Hohns is a Queenslander, not from NSW. Hohns was a selector from 1993 to 2006, a period during which Australia rose to become the best tea in the world & stayed there until after he had gone. Which careers did he ruin?

Posted by Biggus on (May 3, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

When Invers was appointed as a selector I had absolutely no doubt he would do a sterling job. Having had a little to do with him in the seventies when I was a young player I came to have the very greatest respect for the man. Lots of talk gets thrown around about leadership qualities and his name is often mentioned and I can vouch for that. The man just oozes a vibe of trustworthiness, workmanlike diligence and pragmatism that is so palpable you'd swear he almost has a halo. I never met another person in the game who came close to it. Cheers Invers, well done mate.

Posted by Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (May 3, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Mark Waugh is an excellent choice, this guy tells it like it is and will not waver under pressure from the ranks above, which has been the problem with the CA staff for a long time, Boof is finally getting the house in order, filling it with knowledgeable ex players instead of overpayed yes men.

Posted by Baiy on (May 3, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

@Jono Makim - Dont underestimate the average Australian and the concept of a fair go. I get the feeling the cricket public are really sick of the management, style. As entrepreneurs you can see where they come from - the product or "Australian Cricket Team" has to sell for sponsors. For a time it was assumed it is marketable persons or winning. My feeling is that the future, and what we the public want is quality, inclusivity and let the cricket to the talking. I have a feeling that it is going to be heavily weighted on stats and performance. Clearly as entertainers - all players must show they want to belong, they must want the position, fight for it and cherish. They must enjoy being out there and add an additional on the field factor. Any candidate with credentials moving forward will be in the team. So perhaps now the player, his mindset, his skill and performance will determine his selection. Best of luck for all those aspiring to join the Australian team!

Posted by Gordo85 on (May 2, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

Oh no I knew this would happen again one day. How can you Cricket Australia go back to the days with Trevor Hohns the guy helped ruin all the great players coming through the ranks at domestic cricket. You had to play for New South Wales or you wouldn't even get into the Australian team. And now with Mark Waugh this is going to be really bad having two people in the selection panel who only love New South Wales. I am pleased though to see Marsh get given a go. But if you are not careful Cricket Australia you will find I just won't care anymore if the same things as last time keep on happening all over again under this Hohns fellow. The only hope is Marsh and Boof and only they can do and say so much before the others will overrule them.

Posted by   on (May 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

@Baiy, that is true, but only to the extent that those who are clearly outperforming other contenders will win a place, which has already been happening to a large extent under Invers. What this will mean for the likes of Hughes, Khawaja, O'Keefe and a long list of others will not be clear until this panel begins picking squads. I get the feeling that with Marsh, Lehmann and Hohns there won't be too much if any favouritism at all. I think Junior will be very much 'the junior' learning the role with an eye to the future, but may of course just tip the balance here and there on line ball decisions. In any case it is hard to think that anyone else out there is more qualified and objective than these four blokes.

Posted by PrasPunter on (May 2, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Congrats Junior and Hohns , Thank you and Good Luck Invers !!

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (May 2, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Good bye, well done and thank you John. Not only was candour, credibility and consistency reintroduced on your watch but, maybe most importantly, so was clear communication with the playing group. Something so badly lacking under Hilditch. Yes there were missteps, but on balance the right players have been on the park more often than not over the last three years.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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