Jamie Cox has cleared the way for a complete overhaul of Australia's selection panel by standing down and declaring he will not reapply for the role of part-time selector. Cox's decision means that all four of the Australian selectors who picked the side during last summer's disastrous Ashes campaign have now moved on.
The Argus report last month recommended a five-man selection panel with a full-time chairman, a move that ruled Andrew Hilditch out due to his business commitments, while there will also be no place for the national talent manager, Greg Chappell. The fourth selector, David Boon, had already quit during the off-season to become an ICC match referee.
Cox spent nearly five years as a selector, but it was far from a successful tenure. He was the selector on duty at The Oval in 2009, when he was responsible for leaving Nathan Hauritz out of the side on a dry pitch that proved to be of great assistance to the spinners; Graeme Swann took eight wickets in the match and England's victory meant they won the Ashes.
Cox also faced criticism over a potential conflict of interest, as he juggled the selection role with his full-time job as South Australia's director of cricket. By declaring he won't reapply for one of the two part-time positions on the new selection panel, Cox has ensured Australia can make a clean break from the Hilditch era, although he will stay on until the new panel is appointed.
"There is a clear mood for change and I think it's time for a new panel to be given the opportunity set its own direction without links to the past," Cox said. "It has been a true privilege to serve Australian cricket in this role since the 2006-07 summer and whilst the transition from our era of dominance has been challenging, I leave the role strong in the belief that we have a terrific group of young men emerging, to lead Australia back up the Test cricket rankings."
Cricket Australia's new selection panel, which will include the captain and coach, won't be confirmed until after the appointment of a general manager of team performance, a new role that will be created as a result of the Argus report.