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Give the selectors a proper pay packet

Australian selector Trevor Hohns plays things too safe. (AAP Image/Gillian Ballard)
Roar Pro
16th January, 2017
7

Apart from the fact they receive a large salary and even larger profile, not many people know much about what it is the coach of a first-class or international cricket team does.

Cricket Australia, flush with money, have appointed specialised batting coaches, bowling coaches, fielding coaches, fitness advisors – the list goes on and on.

As a bonus, assistants are appointed to assist the assistants. Seemingly, the total number of assistants comfortably out-number the playing group.

Therefore, it is reasonable to enquire what is left for the coach to do?

The head coach is definitely the mouthpiece, or the go-to man, for the press to hear from. Yet most comments are neutral and generalised – more often than not being noncommittal.

One role that the coach is definitely involved in is team selection, yet some believe the coach should not be on the selection panel.

The leading argument to oppose the coach being on the panel, is that he should – if he is doing his job properly – be close to the members of his playing squad, and that they can share with him their strengths, weaknesses and feelings.

Being human, this may possibly lead to degrees of compromise, as coaches and players, alike, may well hold hidden agendas.

It could well be argued that picking the correct players to play in any particular match is the most important responsibility of all. Therefore, the selectors should – as well as be highly professional, dedicated, experienced and have a vast background in the game – remain at arm’s length from the players.

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To attract the right type of person onto the selection panel requires a salary package appropriate for the position. This may well be greater than the financial package offered to the coach – as Ian Chappell has stated: “Choosing the right selectors is a much more important decision than appointing a coach”.

Good selection leads to good performances, and good performances lead to winning outcomes. It is as simple as that. A winning team is only as good as the cattle available, but the secret is in choosing the right cattle.

If the selectors do their job correctly, they will choose the right person to captain the team, and the other players will all possess the flexibility required by their skipper.

Therefore, to avoid any likes or dislike between personalities, hidden agendas and paternalism, there is a strong case for the coach not being on a selection committee. One less duty to perform.

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