Aus selector Hilditch to stay on until Ashes review completion
Melbourne: Under-fire Andrew Hilditch will remain Australia`s chairman of selectors until at least August when a review into national team`s poor Ashes campaign is expected to be complete.
Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke said that no decision would be made until the CA examines the findings of a review committee headed by the former BHP chairman Don Argus.
He said the review was not a "witch-hunt" and indicated that Hilditch will stay in the position beyond April, when his contract is due to expire, as it awaits the findings.
Clarke was hopeful the report could be tabled in August with the view of implementing any changes in time for the start of the next Australian international season in December.
Hilditch, a selector since 1996, came in for criticism after Australia`s dismal 1-3 Ashes series loss to England.
"Because we have to get on with business, the board will keep the current selectors. They will be doing their normal work [until August]," Clarke was quoted as saying.
"We`ve got to do contracts, we`ve got a Bangladesh series, we`ve got Australia A going to Zimbabwe, we have a Test series in Sri Lanka. All of those will certainly need to be picked before the review comes back.”
"It`s just not going to be a witch-hunt, we`re looking forward for sustained future success, we`re not looking with rearview mirrors," Clarke added.
The five-man review panel headed by Argus includes former captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland will hold a non-voting role on the committee.
Under Hilditch`s reign, Australia have succumbed to two Ashes defeats, lost to India and last year failed to defeat Pakistan in a Test series in England.
Sutherland said CA was "very comfortable" with Australia`s performances under Ponting.
"Those sorts of things are very much in the hands of selectors really in terms of his performance and obviously his contributions as a leader. He`s doing a fantastic job with the one-day side at the World Cup at the moment," he said.
"One of the things Don Argus has said to us very clearly, while this process is afoot you need to keep on doing your business, you need to continue to do the things you would ordinarily do, and that includes the playing and all of those aspects of Australian cricket team performance.”
"So decisions on that continue to be made as they are, but we`re very comfortable with the performance of the team under Ricky, and that`s where it is at," the CA chief added.
The review panel, which Clarke said would meet some time in the next fortnight, will interview players, team staff, coaches and members of the media, and will seek to address reasons for Australia`s recent decline in the Test arena, and recommend changes to deliver sustained success.