Sydney: Cricket Australia’s decision to initiate an extensive review into the national team’s capitulation in the recent Ashes series against England is a step in the right direction, cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has claimed.
The board has courted prominent businessman Don Argus to lead the review.
“One prominent businessman has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the workings of Australian cricket. He will examine structures and management skills and produce a report charting the path forward. Cricket Australia has committed itself to accepting his proposals. If that means disbanding and creating a commission, so be it,” Roebuck said in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It is a step in the right direction. As George Jackson pointed out: “Patience has its limits; take it too far and it’s cowardice.” After the Ashes debacle, a second body will examine its entrails. Experts will consider the calibre of the coaches and captains.”
“They will study tactics, fitness and selection, and incumbents will be given a chance to explain. Andrew Hilditch’s faux pas are not important, but his mistakes have been costly. It’s another step in the right direction. Defeat is a better teacher than victory,” he added.
Roebuck insisted that scrutiny must not be limited to the board and team, and said that every aspect of the country’s cricket must be covered in the review.
“Coaching skills will be examined. None of the state coaches have played Test cricket. Priorities will be examined. Some states seem to regard the Sheffield Shield as a trial run for the Big Bash. Junior coaches discourage batsmen from allowing balls to pass,” Roebuck said.
“Senior batsmen are advised to sweat on full deliveries. Apparently, back-foot play is old hat. Meanwhile, local batsmen keep pulling in the air, cannot leave the ball alone or use their feet to spinners. Even the medical staff will be summoned.”
“Australian cricket is in a state of flux. Decisions taken in the next year will dictate its direction. Humility, hard work and determination light the path forward, intransigence is the main obstacle,” he added.
Argus, a former National Australia Bank Chief Executive whose decade-long stint as Chairman of mining giant BHP Billiton ended last year, has attracted the attention of CA because of his extensive business career and knowledge of corporate governance.