Trevor Hohns, Australia's selection chairman through the team's most successful period, has resigned to pursue increasing business interests. Hohns was appointed to the panel of Lawrie Sawle in 1993 and three years later was promoted to its leader as the Test and one-day teams embarked on a trip to No. 1 in the world.
The retirement of Hohns's business partner sparked the move and he said he could not combine the job with the almost-full-time selection duties. "Despite its obvious challenges, I have certainly enjoyed the role and can only hope that my contribution has in some small way assisted Australian cricket," Hohns said. "I have been fortunate to play a part in the panel for so long and am very grateful for the opportunity."
A former legspinner who appeared in seven Tests in the late 1980s, Hohns was prepared to make - and carry out - the tough decisions and was often a target from dumped players and disappointed supporters. Responsible for ending the careers of Ian Healy and Mark Waugh before the long-term representatives felt they were ready, Hohns also delivered Steve Waugh the news his one-day captaincy was over in 2001-02. Waugh beat the selectors by setting his own Test retirement date, but most of his team-mates suffered either in consultation with Hohns or by his axe.
Criticisms of Queensland bias in the selection panel, which until last year also included Allan Border, were also regular and Mark Waugh called for Hohns to walk out after the current squad to South Africa was selected. Hohns was in charge when Australia won 16 Tests in a row from 1999 to 2001 and picked the outfits that won the 1999 and 2003 World Cups. During his time on the panel Australia's record was 35 series wins, six losses and five draws.
Andrew Hilditch, David Boon and Merv Hughes are the other members on the selection panel and a Cricket Australia spokesman said a replacement was expected to be named "shortly". Creagh O'Connor, the Cricket Australia chairman, said Hohns fulfilled one of Australian cricket's most important roles.
"The chairman draws a lot of public and media scrutiny and seldom receives the recognition it deserves," he said. "In Trevor's case, he has made an outstanding contribution to the role and has played a pivotal part in helping Australia remain the No. 1 Test and one-day international team in world cricket over a sustained period."
Australia tour of South Africa