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April 2, 2014
Mark Waugh has confirmed an approach from Cricket Australia to join the national selection panel, as other selectors weigh up their futures.
Always considered a sharp and plain-speaking observer of the game, Waugh had not seriously considered an official selection role before now. But as members of the current panel, including the national selector John Inverarity, consider whether or not to extend contracts due to expire in June, Waugh is open to the idea.
Employed by the Ten Network as a Twenty20 Big Bash League commentator, Waugh said the travel demands of the selection role, which would require his presence for regular overseas tours and domestic games, were the main factors currently giving him pause.
"I am still speaking to them [CA],'' Waugh told the Courier-Mail. "I am weighing up the commitment to time away from home and how it will affect my media commitments. I am keen to get involved as a selector but I am not sure about the timing at the moment. It is quite a big commitment.
"Every time the Australian team is overseas there has to be a selector there. Then you have commitments back in Australia, plus the Australia A side. You have to decide whether you want to juggle that and spend time away from home. I am definitely interested but I have not made up my mind yet.''
Inverarity said earlier this week that he had not yet decided on his future, but CA's approach to Waugh is the strongest suggestion yet that the panel will change significantly.
"My contract when I joined in November 2011 was for up to the end of June this year," Inverarity said. "In the coming weeks and months I will discuss with CA whether I will continue to play a role in the national selection panel, and that's where it is. It's yet to be finally decided."
One of the Argus review's recommendations was for the appointment of a fulltime national selector, later unveiled as Inverarity, with better pay and conditions for other members of the panel. Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel are the other selectors, alongside the national team coach Darren Lehmann.
Before the review, Simon Katich had levelled heavy criticism of the previous selection panel, which included a part-time chairman in Andrew Hilditch and the current national talent manager Greg Chappell.
"When you talk about money, you get the best in the business for paying. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys," Katich said in June 2011. "There has been talk about that [full-time selectors] for a while now but nothing has been done about it. It's a business, there's no doubt about that, that's just the way sport has gone. Being realistic it's got to go that way, because you're dealing with guys' careers."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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