Selectors not responsible for Ashes debacle: Hilditch

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 17:05 PM IST

Melbourne: Laying the blame squarely with the players for the humiliating Ashes loss, Australian selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch on Saturday said that the selectors had “done a very good job” and reiterated that he won’t step down from his post.

“I think we’ve done a very good job as a selection panel, but reality is we were totally outplayed,” Hilditch told reporters.

“I take responsibility for doing the best job I can possibly for Australian cricket. It’s what I’ve always done, I have a great passion for it and still want to do it.”

“You can’t get away from that fact, they were better than we were, we put a side on the paddock we expected to compete really well, but they gained momentum probably at the start of the Adelaide Test match. We regained a bit in Perth - only a little bit - and then lost again in Melbourne,” he added.

Praising the effort of English players for their well deserved series victory, the Australian said, “England took chances, and I thought they were superb.”

Hilditch was positive about the Australian come-back but mentioned that things won’t be that easy.

“I’m sure we’ll get through this stage, it will be tough. Our next two series are tougher than this one I think - playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and South Africa away are as tough as it gets,” he expressed.

“It will be a steep learning curve for some players, but maybe it’s a good way to learn, away from home playing in the toughest conditions.”

Hilditch also endorsed the view of Chief executive of cricket Australia James Sutherland that Ponting should not be axed from the team and said that they will review the future prospects of Australian cricket only after the World Cup.

“We haven’t got a Test series for about seven months, at the end of the World Cup we’ll sit back like we do every season and review the position going forward in a range of issues,” Hilditch mentioned.

The selector, however, backed the inclusion of youngsters like Phil Hughes, Usman Khwaja and Steve Smith in the national side.

“We’ll do the best for Australian cricket, it was the right time to introduce those three players, certainly moving forward we see them having ability to play for Australia.”

“If there comes a time they’re not ready to play international cricket, we’ll move on, but certainly we’re intending to support them,” he added.