Sydney: Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones has advised Cricket Australia (CA) to recruit potential coaches and mentors to help stop the ailing Australian Ashes from a record-breaking losing streak instead of letting them drink champagne and lead tour groups.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jones, who made his debut amid the only other time an Australian side lost six consecutive Tests against the great West Indies side in 1984, has called for a radical shake-up to the way the team is coached.
Suggesting that CA contract as many as a dozen successful former players to be on call to assist coach Darren Lehmann and captain Michael Clarke, Jones said that he believes that it is time for Australian cricket to fully utilise their resources to help the young side and called for 30 or 40-day contracts to players like Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Allan Border, Mark Waugh , Bruce Reid, Craig McDermott or Terry Alderman.
According to Jones, it is necessary to surround the team with individuals that they completely trust, who will give them the right information for the situation they are in, instead of just managing a quick fix to the problems.
Jones further said that Justin Langer, who left the national side to coach Western Australia and was replaced by Michael Di Venuto as the batting coach, could earn twice as much to coach his state than spend about 280 days on the road with the Australian team, adding that dividing up duties according to the most appropriate situation was a much better way to employ experienced former players.
Agreeing with Jones, Langer said that they are bringing in `mentor coaches` in Western Australia, adding that they have talked six or seven former players into coming in.
Jones also said that the current team faces many similar problems to those of 1984 as like the retirements of Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell and Rod Marsh, the departures of Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Simon Katich have left a huge void.
According to the report, the mentoring panel suggestion was endorsed by former Test player John Benaud, who was a national selector between 1988 and 1993, when the Australian cricket renaissance was in swing.
However, Benaud said the knowledge base needed to be urgently deployed at grassroots level, where he described the situation as `a disgrace`.