Sweeping changes for Australian cricket following review

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The Independent Online

Andrew Hilditch, Greg Chappell and Tim Nielsen are the high-profile victims of sweeping changes at Cricket Australia, brought on by a review into the sport.

The comprehensive review, led by Don Argus, with the help of cricket greats and former Australian captains Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Allan Border, was called for after the national team's comprehensive Ashes defeat to England.



CA has decided to overhaul its selection and coaching structure, introducing a five-man selection panel - including a full-time chairman, two part-time selectors, the national captain and head coach.



This means Hilditch will no longer be head of selectors, due to his own work commitments, but is welcome to apply for one of the part-time positions.



There will also be a new head coaching role with more authority than the current coach's role, including selection duties.



Current coach Nielsen has not been placed in the job but is welcome to reapply for the new position.



Chappell will continue in his role as a national talent director but that role will no longer include selection duties.



There was already a vacancy on the old four-man selection panel after David Boon recently resigned in order to accept an ICC role as a match referee.



The other current selector, Jamie Cox, will also have to reapply if he wants to be one of the three selectors.



At every Australian international, whether at home or overseas, the coach and captain, along with one travelling selector, will choose the team for each game.



CA chairman Jack Clarke described the review, which interviewed 61 key people, as the most significant examination of Australian cricket.



"It is, to the best of my knowledge, the most exhaustive, comprehensive examination of Australian cricket ever undertaken," he said.



"We don't want quick fixes. We want to do this properly.



"This report will, I believe, provide a blueprint for cricket structures and systems that will give us the greatest likelihood of success in all forms of the game."



Mr Clarke stressed the review was not about looking for scapegoats, but it was about understanding CA's structure and processes and what needed changing.

Hilditch later confirmed he would not re-apply for a position in the revamped set-up.

The former opener said in a statement: "I fully support the recommendation of the review panel to appoint a full-time chairman of the National Selection Panel and the appointment of the captain and coach as members of the panel.



"It is a structure I supported as appropriate when interviewed by the review panel and I think it will serve Australian cricket well going into the future.



"I will be making no other public comment on the review and its findings. That is a matter for Cricket Australia to consider and act on as it sees fit.



"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cricket Australia for the great privilege they bestowed on me when appointing me as a selector some 15 years ago and then five years ago as Chairman of the National Selection Panel.



"They were always going to be difficult years as Chairman with the exodus of so many great players but I have given it my all and always acted to the best of my ability to achieve the best outcome for Australian cricket.



"Once the new head selector is appointed I look forward to spending a lot more time with family and friends and my growing legal practice. It has been a privilege and an honour to serve Australian cricket," he said.





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