Australia forced to choose team early `for marketing`
Australian selector Mark Waugh says his panel will name the team for next month`s opening Test with India early "for marketing purposes".
Sydney: Australian selector Mark Waugh says his panel will name the team for next month`s opening Test with India early "for marketing purposes".
The former Test batsman made the admission during a cricket television show on Fox Sports late Thursday where he was asked why the first Test squad was being picked almost two weeks before the December 4-8 series opener.
The scheduled squad announcement comes a day before a round of four-day Sheffield Shield matches that would have given selectors scope to check the form of several Test hopefuls.
Instead, the selectors will make their decision this weekend, which also means they have to make an early call on captain Michael Clarke`s fitness from a hamstring injury.
Waugh said it was a situation the selectors would rather not have.
"We`re sitting down on Saturday to pick the first Test team," Waugh said on the programme.
"It doesn`t actually allow us to look at the second (next) round of Shield matches."
Waugh, who joined the national selection panel in May, was asked why selectors couldn`t request more time from Cricket Australia before making a final call on the Test squad.
"Ideally you would like to see the second round of Sheffield Shield matches, but that`s not a decision the selectors have made," Waugh said.
"Cricket Australia have made that. It`s for marketing purposes."
Cricket Australia`s performance manager Pat Howard said the early selection of Australia`s Test squad was to ensure the best possible preparation.
"If the selectors feel they need more time to select the squad that option is always there," Howard said.
He said Australia were following the same preparation which culminated with a 5-0 home Ashes victory over England last season.
Howard said he had since spoken with Waugh, who "admitted he used the wrong word, stating the early selection of the team was for marketing when he should have said logistics."