Graham Yallop, the former Australian captain, has said that having only one Victorian player in the Test team will hurt the state's future cricket. "From a coaching point of view, I want to show all my young players the progression through the Shield [Pura Cup] into the Test ranks," Yallop told theHerald Sun, a Melbourne-based daily. "But they are not getting that representation. It's getting harder and harder to say to these guys they are going to get this opportunity."
Victoria has just one representative, Shane Warne, in the Test fold. No Victorian player made it to the squad for the DLF Cup in Malaysia that Australia won, nor are there any in the 14-man squad for the Champions Trophy.
"I would like to see a summit with [Keith] Stackpole, [Ian] Redpath, [Alan] Connolly, myself, [Dean] Jones, [Damien] Fleming, [Merv] Hughes, [Ray] Bright and all these guys who could have an input into the system," added Yallop, who is also the president of Casey, a premier cricket club in south Melbourne. "That's not to say we are not doing the right thing now. It's just to help."
Victorian players Brad Hodge, Cameron White and Mick Lewis have been in and out of the Test and one-day squads and Yallop felt the the national selection panel needed a representative to push Victoria's case. Merv Hughes, the former Australian and Victorian bowler, is part of the panel along with Allan Border from Queensland, Tasmania's David Boon and Andrew Hilditch, the chairman from South Australia. Yallop had previously questioned Hughes and other panel members' decision to drop Hodge after only five Tests.
But Ken Jacobs, the chief executive of Cricket Victoria, said that he did not have a problem with Hughes. He did, however, express surprise at the squad that toured Malaysia. "Merv [Hughes] is very good. He does a lot of work for us apart from his selection role," Jacobs said. "He is in regular contact with our selectors and our coach and what the thinking is nationally about our players. I am not critical of Merv at all."
Fleming, meanwhile, felt that the lack of state players in the national squad could be just cyclical. "Ideally you want to win Pura Cups and INGs and produce Test players," he said. "Not many teams besides New South Wales can do that, do they?"
Victoria have put in decent performances last season, winning the Twenty20 Cup, coming second in the Pura Cup, and third in the ING Cup.