Who should replace Howard, Inverarity, and Arthur?
Cricket legends Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh. AAP Image/Julian Smith
As the Australian cricket team’s Indian tour debacle drags on and on, the three key posts need replacing.
Let me preamble replacements with most of the muck that has been hitting the fan has come since the controversial and hotly-debated Argus Review that Cricket Australia called for after the 2010 Ashes humiliation.
One of those suggestions was a team performance manager to be the buffer between Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland, and the selectors.
The suggestion was flawed before it began, and made even worse when former Wallaby Pat Howard was appointed, knowing precious little about cricket.
My choice to replace Howard is Belinda Clark, the greatest woman cricketer Australia has produced, and currently the boss at the Australian Cricket Academy in Brisbane where she is producing future baggy green cappers.
Belinda is one of only three women who have been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame – the other two Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, and Enid Bakewell, two former England captains, and class cricketers.
Belinda (42) played for Australia from 1991 to 2005 in 15 Tests averaging 45.95 as an opening batswoman with a top score of 139, and 118 ODIs averaging 47.49 with a top score of 229 not out, the first male or female to crack a double ton in a ODI.
She has scored the most runs by an Australian in ICC women’s World Cups with 1,151.
Has scored the most Test runs by an Australian with 919, and the most ODI runs with 4,844.
And has captained Australia a record 101 times.
Stella stats, and just as good an administrator – perfect for the job.
The selection panel must be reduced to three, all full-time and not like now a full-time chairman and two part-time selectors.
More importantly with no captain, and no coach. I’ve said it many times, but it’s worth repeating, selectors select, players play, and coaches coach.
They NEVER mix.
John Inverarity to be replaced as chairman by Rod Marsh, they are alike as chalk and cheese.
Inverarity’s so timid, so earnest, so worthy – Marsh is a rough-cut diamond who doesn’t suffer fools and right now the Australian team needs a no-nonsense chairman who will tell it the way it is.
No problems with Andy Bichel staying on, he was an honest, 100 percenter every time he represented Australia, with the third selector to be former Australian vice-captain Geoff Marsh, so relation to Rod.
There will be some knockers who will say Geoff has two sons Shaun (29) who has already scored a Test ton on debut, and Mitchell (21) the youngest ever at 17 to play a domestic one-dayer.
Have no fears, Dad will only support his sons selections if they deserve it.
Geoff Lawson would be another first-class choice as a selector, but he’s doing such a top job as an ABC radio commentator, as well as writing for The Herald and The Roar, cricket would be best served if Lawson stayed right where he is.
And finally Mickey Arthur should be replaced by the most outstanding coach in Australia – Darren Lehmann.
“Boof” by nickname, but sure not a boof-head coach, he has superb communication skills, taking Queensland from the basement to the penthouse.
Like Rod Marsh, Lehmann is a no-nonsense believer, None of the current problems would have ever surfaced if Lehmann was the coach.
Time for James Sutherland to make his move, and for those of you who believe he’s part of this mess, think again.
He’s been the boss for over 10 years, and I’ve found him first class, he never shirks an issue.
And he won’t shirk this one.
Can’t say the same about the board, Let’s see if those men stand up to be counted, or close the door, bunker down and hope the muck stops hitting the fan.
Just as they have done before, the reason why Don Argus surfaced.