Len Pascoe says Cricket Australia’s selection policy ‘totally flawed’

Sydney: Former Australian fast bowler Len Pascoe has highlighted Australia’s flawed selection policy, which he says could lead to Test pacemen withholding crucial information from team heads about ‘form and fitness’ because of the latter`s dual roles as selectors.

Pascoe said the positions held by Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur on the panel clouded the selection process, by potentially preventing players from openly discussing their form or fitness problems, as it could count against them when it came to picking a side. “I know what happens in a team and dressing room environment."

You can get cliques forming and also, to leave it up to a captain to say ``I want this, I want that``, that`s leaving the captain and coach in a very difficult situation in that ``If I have a problem with my bowling I`m not going to tell him what I`ve got wrong because he`s going to be part of a selection process``,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Pascoe, as saying.

According to the paper, Pascoe, who played 14 Tests for Australia and emerged as a fast bowler of note during World Series Cricket, said that having the captain and coach as selectors also paved the way for them to subconsciously favour fast bowlers to justify contentious selections.

The Argus review after the 2010-11 Ashes disaster recommended the Australian captain and coach join the selection panel of five, which includes chairman John Inverarity, Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel, the paper said.

“As far as the captain is concerned, if he picks somebody there could be a favouritism towards that bowler in regards to who opens the bowling, who`s first after lunch. It opens up a Pandora`s box. The Argus report has a totally flawed selection policy,” Pascoe added.

However, Pascoe said he could understand Australia`s policy of rotating bowlers as it did after the second Test against South Africa, when an exhausted Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus made way for Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and John Hastings in the third Test.

“It`s got to the point that they`re scared that if somebody breaks down there could be issues with litigation,`` he said.


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