Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel deserves a significant pay rise. Considering some of the vitriol directed as the selectors this summer, that statement is sure to cause a stir, so allow me to quickly explain myself before I’m completely lambasted.
In the wake of the release of part one of Shane Warne’s Cricket Manifesto, it was more intriguing gauging the response to it, rather than its actual contents.
By and large, most people felt that Warne made some valid points while also making some ill-informed ones.
Central to the latter point was the fact that some of the individuals that Warne appointed for a role in his ‘Dream Team’ of Cricket Australia officials would need to take a pay cut to fulfill the position that Warne had pencilled them in for, especially those in a selector role.
While the first reaction to that oversight by Warne was to scoff that he hadn’t done his homework and that his suggestions were therefore unrealistic, the ensuing thought that popped into my mind was that those tasked with making the major decisions on playing personnel in Australian cricket may not be being paid very well.
Which in turn opens Cricket Australia up to mocking phrases like ‘You get what you pay for’.
In cricket, you could argue that there is only one individual (or individuals) more important than the players: those that actually choose the players.
After all, you can be the best player in the land and the most influential player in the team, but if the selectors don’t pick you, you cease to be important.
Which is a very hyperbolic way of illustrating that the selectors’ job is extremely important.
It’s therefore very alarming to learn that these very important roles may actually not pay very well, relatively speaking.
If the selectors’ role is so important, surely they should have a salary that reflects it?
While I can appreciate that travelling around Australia watching Sheffield Shield games in empty grounds may not sound that glamorous, it’s the output of such excursions that truly matter.
It’s an obvious point, but the decisions that the selectors make have a drastic impact on Australian cricket.
With that responsibility and pressure should come the financial remuneration to match it.
Yet it appears that may not be the case.
I would hate to think Cricket Australia don’t currently have the very best candidates for the National Selection Panel because the positions don’t pay highly enough.
I understand that you can’t just throw money around irresponsibly, but I would argue that allocating a significant portion of Cricket Australia revenue towards the NSP is actually one of the more astute and responsible things CA could do.
Where should the extra money for the selectors salaries come from?
Obviously I don’t have vision of Cricket Australia’s books, but if you cut the pyrotechnics budget of the Big Bash in half, there would be a significant amount of money freed up.
Which do you think is more crucial to the success of Australian cricket: fireworks or well paid selectors?
Failing that, reducing player salaries by just 1% across the board would ensure the selectors’ bank accounts receive a healthy boost.
If one of the most important – if not the most important – positions in Australian cricket isn’t currently attractive, desirable, aspirational and well paid, I think Cricket Australia should make it its number one objective to ensure it is.
It’s no big deal though.
It’s only the immediate and future success of Australia cricket riding on it.