Comparing Hilditch and Inverarity

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert


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    Australian Cricket selector John Inverarity speaks with spin bowler Nathan Lyon. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

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    Cricket fans will remember Andrew Hilditch as a former revolving door chairman of selectors, but current chairman John Inverarity is beating him off the break.

    In the last two years of the Hilditch watch, he awarded 12 new caps in 24 Tests.

    In his first 14 Tests, Inverarity has matched Hilditch’s dozen, and still has four Tests to go to complete the same time frame.

    In 2009, Hilditch had David Boon, Jamie Cox, and Merv Hughes making up the panel with new caps Andrew McDonald who has played four Tests,
    Ben Hilfenhaus playing his 25th, Phil Hughes (17), Marcus North (21), Bruce McGain (1), Grahame Manou (1), and Clint McKay just one.

    In 2010, the same panel with the exception of Greg Chappell replacing Hughes – Ryan Harris (4), Tim Paine (4), Steve Smith (5), Peter George (1), and Xavier Doherty with two.

    In 2011-2012, Inverarity took over the chair with Rod Marsh, Andy Bichel, Michael Clarke, and Mickey Arthur.

    The new caps in that period under Inverarity – Michael Beer (1), Usman Khawaja (6), Trent Copeland (3), Nathan Lyon playing his 14th, Shaun Marsh (3), Pat Cummins (1), James Pattinson playing his sixth, Mitchell Starc (4), David Warner playing his 10th, Ed Cowan playing his eighth, Matt Wade playing his fourth, and Rob Quiney on debut.

    Throw in the regulars who made their debuts before 2009 over the four-year period – Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, and Nathan Hauritz and that adds up to an incredible 32 Australians have played in the last 32 Tests.

    Revolving door alright.

    Injuries have played a part, no doubt about that, but not to that extent.

    Which begs the question is the five-man selection panel working? We’ve been through all this before when it was first muted. I was against it then, and that’s still the case.

    Selectors should select, players play, and coaches coach, and nair the twain shall meet.

    Inverarity, Marsh, and Bichel should be the total panel. They are removed from the players, and not in the inner sanctum like captain Clarke, and coach Arthurs. And that’s the way it should be.

    Just as importantly, Inverarity is the only full-time selector – Marsh and Bichel are part-timers. All three must be full-time, it’s the most important panel in Australian cricket, dictating the fortunes of the sport.

    Over the last 75 years, there have been 38 three-man panels, 36 four-man, and just one five-man panel in the 1982-83 season when Phil Ridings was in the chair with Laurie Sawle, Ray Lindwall, Alan Davidson, and Greg Chappell, the only other time in Australian cricket history the captain has been an official selector for a home series.

    The longest-serving three-man panel record in successive years is 13 held by Sir Donald Bradman, Jack Ryder, and Dudley Sneddon from 1954 to 1967.

    The longest-serving four-man panel is five years – Trevor Hohns, Hilditch, Boon, and Allan Border from 2000 to 2005.

    For preference a three-man panel does the job admirably. Four can become messy with a 2-2 vote, giving the chairman the casting vote, and five is too many.

    I can’t see the current panel lasting too long. Simply, Clarke and Arthurs shouldn’t be selectors, they have their hands full doing what must be done within the team.

    Be consulted by all means, but not involved in the final decision.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • November 11th 2012 @ 2:09pm
      Train Without A Station said | November 11th 2012 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

      With respect to the current panel, almost half the new caps make up the first choice side now, whilst Uzi and Starc are second choice fringe players. There are a couple of left field selections such as Beer and Quiney who may not be looked back on as great selections but considering injury (cummins would probably first choice if fit), retirements and form slumps it would be unfair to compare the 2 panels. Looking at the previous panel, Hilf, Harris, Hughes and Paine are the only players who would still be first choices or fringe players, while North probably lasted a little longer than he should have.

    • Roar Guru

      November 11th 2012 @ 2:32pm
      Andy_Roo said | November 11th 2012 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      I can’t agree with having Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur on the selection panel. Players need someone they can confide in when it comes to form, technical issues and even personal issues which might affect their performance.

      Clarke has already been linked to the sacking of Simon Katich and has been mentioned as having a favouritism towards certain players, i.e. Haddin and Hughes. Some have even said this is a NSW bias.

      I don’t think Clarke is biased in any way but these sorts of rumours and accusations cannot help with team unity.

    • November 11th 2012 @ 5:19pm
      A1 said | November 11th 2012 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      Michael Beer and Uzzy Khawaja were picked under Hilditch not Inverarity.

      • November 11th 2012 @ 7:47pm
        Jason said | November 11th 2012 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

        Also, I thought Hilditch was Chairman who presided over selections for the Sri Lanka tour in 2011 and possibly even the South Africa tour. The Sri Lankan tour included Lyon, Copeland and Marsh.

        • November 11th 2012 @ 9:27pm
          Lolly said | November 11th 2012 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

          You are right, Inverarity didn’t become chairman till after that tour.

          • November 11th 2012 @ 11:15pm
            A1 said | November 11th 2012 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

            So the entire article is flawed

            • November 11th 2012 @ 11:47pm
              lolly said | November 11th 2012 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

              Well, the first five named have to be added to Hilditch and taken away from Invers so yes, the premise of the article is out of whack.

              • November 12th 2012 @ 7:12am
                Train Without A Station said | November 12th 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

                Typical David Lord.Anyway people used to complain the team was harder to get out of than to get into, now they are giving away baggy greens.You earn stability through winning, not win as a virtue of stability.

    • November 11th 2012 @ 8:03pm
      pope paul v11 said | November 11th 2012 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

      Total agreement Mr Lord. Coach and captain should not be selectors. Too close.

      Did not know Greg Chappell was a selector in 82/83. Not his best season.

      Loved Cowan’s little cameo this arvo. Didn’t know he was so good at hooking and pulling. Clarke played pretty well give or take the odd slash. Africans will go hard in the morning, can these two get through the first hour? Wicket is pretty good,

    • November 12th 2012 @ 12:13am
      White line said | November 12th 2012 @ 12:13am | ! Report

      Invers seems an astute man. That would lead me to believe that Steve Smith wont play test cricket again whilst he is in charge.

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