19th August 2011, 08:00 PM
No quick fix for Australia's cricketing ills: review
Don Argus (R) who led a seven-month review into the state of Australian cricket, speaks at a press conference with Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke (C) and CEO James Sutherland (L) in Melbourne on August 19, 2011. Argus said Friday it will take 18 months to yield significant progress.
©AFP - William West
SYDNEY (AFP) - The author of a far-reaching and hard-hitting review of Australian cricket said Friday it will take 18 months to yield significant progress.
But as a result of the report, which was seven months in the making, the chairman of selectors will become a full-time role, forcing out incumbent Andrew Hilditch.
As national talent manager, Greg Chappell will no longer be a selector and national coach Tim Nielsen will have to re-apply and is likely to lose the job, given its expanded responsibilities.
Don Argus, the former chairman of BHP Billiton, said the report needed time to reap the most significant benefits.
"It will take the best part of 18 months before you see the seeds of anything really changing," Argus told reporters at the announcement of the report's findings in Melbourne.
"People will feel a lot better when the side starts to perform on the field, but hopefully this will take a lot of the side-pressures and other distractions away from the team."
Australia have slumped to fifth in the ICC Test rankings with Ricky Ponting standing down as Test skipper last March to be replaced by his deputy Michael Clarke.
Argus chaired a panel that included former Australian captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh and ex-Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Malcolm Speed.
The review was prompted by the disastrous home Ashes series earlier this year which Australia lost 3-1 to England.
Among the immediate changes will be captain Clarke and coach Nielsen to join a five-man national selection panel.
CA will begin a search for a national performance manager, a newly-created position, with the appointee overseeing the revamped selection panel and coaching setup.
As a result of the review, the selectors will no longer report directly to the CA board, but be answerable to the new manager.
Hilditch, Chappell and Nielsen will all continue in their current jobs until the performance manager is appointed and the full-time national selector is in place.
Argus said his panel hoped having the captain and coach as selectors will mean less angst among players.
"Normally communication solves most insecurities - if we achieve that, it will be a huge step forward," he said.
CA chief executive James Sutherland indicated that Chappell may reconsider his job, now he will no longer be a selector.
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