Hilditch won't quit as chairman of selectors
Andrew Hilditch has confirmed he won't volunteer to end his role as Australia's chairman of selectors, and the only way he will leave the job is if he is sacked by Cricket Australia. Hilditch heads the four-man panel but is only a part-time selector, also working as a solicitor in Adelaide, and his contract with Cricket Australia expires after the World Cup.
Late last year, Greg Chappell took on the role as Australia's national talent manager and full-time selector, which could have created an opportunity for Hilditch to step aside and focus on his legal career. However, despite Australia's Ashes humiliation, and his own insistence that the selectors had done a good job, Hilditch remains keen to stay on after his contract ends.
"I have still got the same passion for everything I can give to Australian cricket, I only do it for one reason and that is I love Australian cricket," he told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm trying to do the best job I possibly can, as is the whole selection panel. So it will be for someone else to tell me when I'm not required."
Hilditch was in Adelaide announcing Australia's squad for the first ODI against England, which will feature several auditions from fringe men hoping to win a place at the World Cup. The selection of Australia's 15-man group to defend the World Cup will be one of Hilditch's final acts before a review of Australia's woeful summer is instigated, and if Hilditch is stood down, the search will be on for a new chairman of selectors.
Unlike Hilditch, his predecessor Trevor Hohns, who quit in 2006 to pursue his business interests, was seen as a bold selector, who oversaw the separation of the Test and one-day teams and also pushed champions like Ian Healy and Mark Waugh into retirement. Decisions on older plays like Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey might need to made in the near future, and Hohns said he would consider returning to the selection panel if he was asked.
''It's quite a challenge," Hohns told the Sydney Morning Herald. "If the opportunity was to arise, I would give it serious consideration. I am not suggesting that is going to happen or suggesting that I am going to do any better."
The current four-man group - Hilditch, Chappell, David Boon and Jamie Cox - was criticised for several decisions this summer, including the lack of certainty over who was the best spinner for the Test side. But nearly a week after the series was surrendered in Sydney, Hilditch maintained that the selectors had not performed poorly, although he was disappointed at how his comments had been construed.
"To the extent that someone thinks that we're not disappointed with the result, I'm disappointed those comments were taken that way," Hilditch said. "The reality is nobody could be more disappointed than the national selection panel. We picked what we thought was a squad capable of winning the Ashes and it wasn't capable of winning the Ashes, so that is disappointing."