Border resigns again as Australia selector

Australia's preparations for recapturing the Ashes were again disrupted yesterday by the resignation of Allan Border as a selector. Although it was tempting to suppose that Border had simply thrown in the towel upon realising that it would be impossible to find a team to beat England, he supplied different official reasons.

"My various commitments are far heavier than I expected back in mid-year," he said. "I don't think it is appropriate to do what is a really important job if I am not able to give it the full attention it deserves."

Border, who was captain of Australia for almost 10 years in 93 Tests, has now resigned twice as a selector. He cited other commitments the first time and since he agreed to return to the four-man panel, which was only in June, he has not helped to pick a single Test squad.

The departure of Border, who will remain a board member of Cricket Australia, is merely the latest glitch in what is meant to be a serene and glorious machine. Australia are already looking for a new coach after John Buchanan's announcement of his intention to leave after the World Cup next spring.

This means that in three major tournaments - the Champions Trophy, in which Australia play their first match next Wednesday, the Ashes and the World Cup - the players will be listening to a man with one foot in the exit door. If that were not enough, Buchanan's position has been badly undermined by the comments of Shane Warne, who said the coach's role was unnecessary after a two-day boot camp in which the players were instructed to take part.

"John and I get along OK, but I think that his methods overcomplicate issues and at some stages he has lacked common sense," said Warne in a ringing denunciation.

That led to a phone call from the captain, Ricky Ponting, reminding Warne of his responsibilities. Unfortunately, that conversation merely reminded everybody that during the last Ashes it often looked like Warne was marshalling the side in the field, not Ponting.

These simmering ingredients have now been given a stir of which Gordon Ramsay could be proud by the former Australia captain Kim Hughes. Earlier this week he lambasted Warne for his comments, claiming he had shown a complete disregard for Buchanan's position. For good measure, Hughes added that Warne would have been an embarrassment if he had been captain of Australia and advised senior players to sit him down and tell him to shut up. As Warne took 40 wickets at 19.92 in the 2005 Ashes, this may not be wholly practicable.

Warne is not with the Australian squad who have arrived in India for the Champions Trophy, a competition they have, astonishingly, never won. But he is continuing to dominate team affairs.

Rumours are beginning to circulate about the state of his right shoulder. He returned to Australia during the English summer, when he was playing for Hampshire, for apparently routine treatment. But a conspiracy theory is now doing the rounds that the shoulder is in a delicate state.

The other night, at a dinner at Lord's, the chairman of the England selectors, David Graveney, said: "He has had some problems with that shoulder. It will be interesting to see how it turns out."

Of course, the Australians would say that this is a case of a drowning man clinging on to any piece of passing flotsam, but then they are at it themselves. Their veteran seam bowler Glenn McGrath said in Adelaide the other day that he fully expected Australia to win the Ashes series 5-0. This is McGrath's usual prediction but he is now 36 and only 70 per cent fit by his own admission.

In India, the Australians are as uncertain as England of team selection. With a week to go, they have three candidates as opening partner for Adam Gilchrist: Simon Katich, who has been unconvincing in the role, the newcomer Phil Jacques, the all-rounder Shane Watson and Matthew Hayden, who did the job for years.

Border has left this conundrum to others in order to concentrate on his other commitments. "I am really passionate and absolutely committed to making a continuing contribution to cricket through my board work and my involvement with the CA committee that will decide the next national coach," he said.

But his other work also embraces commentary. By doing that, of course, he can tell the selectors whom to pick without actually having to do so himself.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power