Australian cricket selectors deserve a massive pay rise

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

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    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.

    Ryan O
    Ryan O'Connell

    Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.

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    The Crowd Says (109)

    • February 5th 2013 @ 8:22am
      Red Kev said | February 5th 2013 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Interesting story. The only thing I can think to add is that the actual number they are paid should be viewed with the caveat that all their travel, accommodation and food would be paid while on CA business. I am also guessing top notch health cover is included courtesy of BUPA and a free phone courtesy of Vodaphone…there would be decent perks involved in the job. 100k might not seem like a lot in comparison to the $1M Maxwell is paid for the IPL or in comparison to the lofty earnings of a sports journalist like yourself (easy Mr O’Connell that’s a joke) but it is still a decent salary.

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 11:01am
        Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        I’m glad you added the joke line, Red Kev!

        Yes, I’m sure there are certain perks that come with the job, and the salary ‘decent’. However, considering the importance of the role, I believe it should be more than just that.

      • February 5th 2013 @ 12:24pm
        Chaos said | February 5th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        Good point but haven’t Vodaphone pulled the pin on the sponsorship?

    • Roar Guru

      February 5th 2013 @ 8:24am
      JGK said | February 5th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      I’ll do it for free.

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 9:56am
        Brett McKay said | February 5th 2013 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        Not for any length of time you won’t, JGK…

        • February 5th 2013 @ 10:45am
          Col said | February 5th 2013 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          Why not?

          Having “Australian Cricket Selector” on your resume would open a stack of doors in the corporate world, post selecting, where the increase in salaries would more than make up for a couple of years on the road not making a buck.

        • Roar Guru

          February 5th 2013 @ 11:06am
          JGK said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          I’d do it for at least two years.

          • February 5th 2013 @ 11:12am
            Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            For free for two years??

            • Roar Guru

              February 5th 2013 @ 11:22am
              JGK said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report


              • Columnist

                February 5th 2013 @ 11:44am
                Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

                You’re either a hobo or filthy rich!

              • Roar Guru

                February 5th 2013 @ 12:29pm
                JGK said | February 5th 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                Neither. I just love cricket.

              • Columnist

                February 5th 2013 @ 12:52pm
                Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                As do I, but a dog has to eat!

              • Roar Guru

                February 5th 2013 @ 12:55pm
                JGK said | February 5th 2013 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

                Long service leave and a whole stack of accrued annual leave will help me!

              • Columnist

                February 5th 2013 @ 12:58pm
                Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Ahhhhh! Nice one. Put your hand up!

    • February 5th 2013 @ 8:28am
      jamesb said | February 5th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      So what your saying is the selectors deserve to get paid more so they could do a better job, because ATM it’s “pay peanuts get monkeys”

      In the past, Australian selectors did there job without the massive pay and still put out reasonably competitive Australian teams.

      I think the problem with the current selection panel is they are outfoxing themselves. They have selected 3 or 4 ”allrounders” in the squad to have a flexible squad, yet they didn’t pick a clear number 6 batsman. George Bailey could have been a good selection. But they left him home. The selectors saw Baileys stats this season, and whilst he has struggled, you also got to bear in mind, Bailey’s home ground is Bellerive, which can be a dicey deck from time to time.

      That’s why selectors should watch as many Shield matches as possible to have a look at players performing at different pitch conditions. If they are selecting sides by comparing averages on the CricInfo site, hey I’ll put my hand up as a selector.

      You say a massive pay rise.

      Yes please! if I became one LOL.

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 11:05am
        Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        James, I’m not suggesting that the current selectors would do a better job if they were better paid. I’m sure they’re doing the best job they can. What I am suggesting is that if money was not an issue and we merely wanted the very best people in the role, would we still have the same selectors we do?

        We very well may, I don’t know. But I just hope the salary isn’t a restriction in having the best candidates in the roles.

        And taking that a step further, it’s somewhat surprising to learn that Bichel and Marsh are only employed part-time. That doesn’t seem to be giving an important role it’s full respect.

        And just staying on that point, if Bichel and Marsh are part time, and Clarke and Arthur’s international commitments keep them from watching a lot of first class cricket, it means we really only have one full time selector, Inverarity. That’s a concern, no?

        • February 5th 2013 @ 2:43pm
          Brian said | February 5th 2013 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

          the problem is I see no evidence that better paid selectors would do a better job. Your argument reminds me of the same tripe our leading CEO come out with to justify paying themselves $8 mill a year. As if they wouldn’t bother for $7m.

          Quote the opposite paying them too well would only attract the likes of professional selectors interested in pursuing selecting as a career rather than Australian Cricket.

          If your really going to look at it objectively than shouldn’t the job be open to all nationalities. I don’t know who groomed the English team that won the Ashes in 2005 or the Kenyan team that made the World Cup semis or who was in charge when Warne was selected to debut. This is what I would look for a proven track record rather than more money for the existing unproven NSP to do what the rest of us on this blog happily do for free.

          • Columnist

            February 5th 2013 @ 2:56pm
            Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            “. . .rather than more money for the existing unproven NSP. . “

            Your comment completely missed the point of the comment you were replying to. I’m not advocating that the existing NSP get pay rises.

            I’m asking whether we have the very best people in the existing selectors roles, and praying that we do, as opposed to not having the best people because CA don’t pay enough.

            It’s not about upping the salaries and seeing who applies, it’s about assessing what it would take to get the best people making the most important decisions in Australian cricket.

        • Roar Guru

          February 6th 2013 @ 9:01am
          Andy_Roo said | February 6th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          They are part-time because there are often week-long gaps between games, particularly at shield level.

          • Columnist

            February 6th 2013 @ 9:08am
            Ryan O'Connell said | February 6th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            They should be getting to State training sessions then.

    • February 5th 2013 @ 8:31am
      sledgeross said | February 5th 2013 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      I was thinking about this yesterday mate. What would I do differently to make AUssie cricket better, call it a sledgiefesto if you will.

      After 2 Crownies (it was AB medal night after all) and finishing off my wifes Moscato (and 2 super doopers!), I bemoaned the fact that I probably couldnt do that much better (despite my vast knowledge and opinions lol). We just dont have the talent, especially battingwise. We could pick any of the current top 10 batsmen in the country and I feel they would all do a similar job. I could say that 10 years ago as well, but teh talent just aint there. these blokes are averaging over 10 runs less that what they should be.

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 11:06am
        Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Two Super Doopers? They still make them???

    • February 5th 2013 @ 8:40am
      rossco said | February 5th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      anyone who selects steven smith in a side doesn’t deserved to be paid !

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 11:07am
        Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        Just to clarify, Rossco, I wasn’t suggesting the current selectors necessarily deserve a payrise for their efforts, but rather that the actual roles themselves should pay more.

    • February 5th 2013 @ 9:25am
      Fivehole said | February 5th 2013 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      The job is pretty sweet, and lets face it not really demanding of 40+ hours a week. Until they produce better results, no need for an increase.

      • Columnist

        February 5th 2013 @ 11:08am
        Ryan O'Connell said | February 5th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Hi Fivehole, please see my comment directly above to Rossco, in terms of the current selectors.

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