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November 7, 2013
Australia's selectors have been reminded to maintain a reasonable level of contact with the players they choose after it was revealed that many of the cricketers seconded to play for Australia A against England in Hobart found out about their inclusion on Twitter.
There was some bemusement among members of the A squad when they assembled in Hobart to discover that they shared the same tale of learning they had been selected through the avenue of social media, rather than any personal contact from the national selector John Inverarity or any members of his panel.
Paul Marsh, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers Association, said the players were entitled to be told directly of their inclusion in national squads. However he also acknowledged that communication between the players and the selectors had improved noticeably since the Argus review and the appointment of a new panel headed by Inverarity.
"The feedback I have received over the last few years is that the new selection panel has been better from a communication perspective but there have been isolated instances that players have brought to my attention," Marsh said. "That is something Cricket Australia needs to continually improve. Players should be hearing it from them, whether they're in or out of the team, rather than from social media or a third party."
The selector on duty in Hobart is Rod Marsh, but the wicketkeeper Tim Paine said communication to the players about their selection for this match and prospects beyond it had been minimal, if occurring at all. Paine had received unofficial word he may have been in line for the match via selection meetings for Tasmania, which he took part in as the acting state captain while George Bailey was in India.
"We were actually talking about it yesterday, a few of us saw on Twitter, it was interesting," Paine said. "I'm happy to be here and getting an opportunity, obviously it means something but it hasn't been handed down to me as yet, I'm just trying to do as well as I can.
"I heard a few whispers from our head coach that it may happen so they were preparing to pick teams, and being captain of Tassie that's how I found out about it through our selection meeting, then I came out [of the meeting] and it was on Twitter. No phone call."
Cricket Australia acknowledged the selection of the team could have been better communicated to the players concerned. "As it stands, our priority is to communicate with players who are new to a squad or have been dropped from the previous side," a spokesman said. "In this instance we could have communicated better with our players, and we'll work to ensure it doesn't happen again in future."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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