Stuart Clark reckons he’s “useless,” so why did Pat Howard get a new contract?

Andrew Menczel Roar Rookie

By Andrew Menczel, Andrew Menczel is a Roar Rookie

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45 Have your say

    I am going to get straight on the front foot with this issue when I say I was very surprised that Cricket Australia decided to extend Pat Howard’s contract for another two years as high performance manager.

    Former Australian fast bowler Stuart Clark went one step further on Fox Sports’ Bill & Boz show, saying: “I wouldn’t have signed Pat Howard again – I wouldn’t have signed Pat Howard in the first place.

    “I think he’s useless, personally.”

    The easiest way to attack Howard’s appointment is to cite the fact that he never played high-level cricket and is an ex-rugby player. This is definitely a concern but I don’t think a lack of top-level experience should rule him out. Many coaches, managers and executives in all levels of sport are excellent in their roles without top-level experience.

    But it does leave Pat Howard open as an easy target when things go wrong in Australian Cricket and surely putting an ex-first-class or Test cricketer in the role would be easier to market for Cricket Australia.

    There must surely be an ex-player or top level coach who could be transitioned into the role who could bring a different skill set to the role and perhaps endear him or herself to the Australian cricket community a little more than Howard has done.

    Shouldn’t the high performance manager at least have had some experience in coaching cricket? Isn’t there a pathway for a high performance manager to move through the cricketing ranks and not be seemingly plucked from nowhere?

    Speaking about Howard’s contract extension James Sutherland, the CEO of Cricket Australia, was glowing.

    “Pat is a dynamic, passionate executive and the board and I are delighted that he has agreed to extend his term.

    “He has led the evolution of a new team performance structure and success-driven culture for both men’s and women’s cricket in Australia and we see his ongoing contribution as integral to our future plans.”

    Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland and chairman Wally Edwards

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    With Howard’s contract up for renewal, it would have been the perfect time to move him out of the role and try someone else. I wonder what Steve Smith thinks about this?

    My main concern about Howard’s reappointment has nothing to do with his prior experience in rugby but revolves around his inability to manage the Australian cricket team’s performance.

    Let’s start with the Test team. It was under Howard’s watch that ‘Homeworkgate’ transpired and Australia had an embarrassing soap opera-style tour of India in 2013, complete with accusations and drama being played out in the media between Pat Howard and Shane Watson.

    I guess some credit should be given to Howard for overseeing Mickey Arthur’s departure and installing Darren Lehmann in the lead-up to the 2013 Ashes, but Australia will have to live with the horrific memory of the 2013 tour of India for years to come.

    But the on-field performance of the Test team is my greatest complaint. We have shown an inability to perform overseas consistently, having lost both 2013 and 2015 Ashes series in England. Our record on the subcontinent has got much worse under his reign despite the recent tour of India.

    Last summer the Test team disintegrated in Hobart, resulting in a complete turnover of players and Rod Marsh stepping down as chairman of selectors.

    The only Test series Australia have won recently are the ones we should win, at home against other teams that struggle in our conditions. The notable exception to that came in 2014 in South Africa.

    We should be doing better and performing consistently better overseas. There is no shortage of talent in Australian cricket but is it being managed properly?

    In my opinion, Howard has not set up a high performance structure that is working well. Some of my other gripes are Australia’s failure to come to terms with international T20 cricket, Greg Chappell’s appointment as a selector and seeing some of our best coaches move overseas.

    Looking ahead Howard has two years to turn things around and prove all the doubters wrong. Will he make it to 2019?

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    The Crowd Says (45)

    • May 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm
      E-Meter said | May 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

      Was it Howard that presided over the obsessive manner in which the rotation policy for bowlers existed for a few years? Remember Mitchell Starc being “rested” for a Boxing Day Test, when he wasn’t remotely injured. Thankfully, that rotation policy is gradually being punted to the tip where it belongs.

    • May 11th 2017 @ 2:16pm
      Remington Tufflips said | May 11th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      The reason we keep losing overseas is that we keep picking the wrong team. The selectors would be the main problem there, not Pat Howard.

      • May 12th 2017 @ 9:09am
        Archibald Barrington said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        He picks the selectors.

        • May 12th 2017 @ 9:47am
          Ross said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          Interesting to read geeves view on Hiward, he likes Hiward

    • May 11th 2017 @ 2:43pm
      Christo the Daddyo said | May 11th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

      cite, not site

      Roar editors not working today?

      • May 11th 2017 @ 5:08pm
        qwetzen said | May 11th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

        Impossible to tell…

        • May 12th 2017 @ 11:07am
          qwetzen said | May 12th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          Mind you, The Roar’s not on their Pat in this regard. Was just over at and they’ve managed two embarrassments today.

          1. Chris Lynn was described by Dave Middleton as “burly”, which make me wonder if he’s ever actually seen Lynn. Or even a photo of him.

          2. The worthy Ryan Carters has retired from all cricket to concentrate on philanthropy and continue his education. Sam Ferris has written a lengthy review of the 26yos cricket career including his notable performance in Sydney grade and unsuccessful SS beginnings for Victoria. Sam however totally failed to mention that Carters is a Canberra boy who represented the ACT at U17 & U19.

          • Columnist

            May 12th 2017 @ 2:39pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | May 12th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

            1. “burly” means strong or muscular, which Lynn is by cricket standards as this photo shows:


            2. Retrospectives of a cricketer’s professional career very rarely delve into their junior cricket days.

            Bit of an embarrassment yourself there quetzen!

            • May 12th 2017 @ 4:00pm
              Nudge said | May 12th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

              Haha, can I just say certainly not for the first time and certainly not for the last

            • May 13th 2017 @ 8:21am
              qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

              Definitions of “burly” from reputable dictionaries. (Some of us prefer to quote sources Ronan)

              “strongly and heavily built” – Miriam-Webster
              “A burly man has a broad body and strong muscles.” – Collins dictionary
              “(of a person) large and strong; heavily built” – Oxforddictionaries
              “a burly man is fat and strong” – Macmillandictionaries
              “A burly man is large and strong:” – Cambridge

              So I’ll stand by by criticism of Dave Middleton thanks all the same.

              “Retrospectives of a cricketer’s professional career very rarely delve into their junior cricket days”.

              In your opinion. And I’d suggest that any retrospective which failed to mention that its subject made not one but two Australian age sides wouldn’t be much of a retrospective. Also, I said that Carters was “a Canberra boy”, so there’s more to it than simply his “junior” cricket. Or are you suggesting that it’s “very rare” for retrospectives to mention where players were born and raised? Anyway;

              “Carters was born and raised in Canberra and played his youth cricket in the ACT under-age sides, before moving to Victoria to begin his state career.”
              “Carters’ journey started in the Cricket ACT junior ranks before helping Wests-UC win a premiership alongside Australian Test spinner Nathan Lyon.”
              “The Canberra-born cricketer,” (Cricbuzz)

              “Bit of an embarrassment yourself there quetzen!”

              Jaysus Ronan! If it’s “embarrassment” you want have a look at that sentence of yours. A garbled mess *and* you got my nick wrong! And regarding the whole exchange, I’ll leave it to the individual to decide who’s got embarrassment all over their face.

              Look Ronan, this habit of yours of popping up to snipe whenever you think you can score a point but refusing to respond to “embarrassing” enquiries is tiresome. If you want to keep doing it then that’s your choice. I’m moving on.

              • May 13th 2017 @ 11:19pm
                Nudge said | May 13th 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

                Wow, what a load of rambling which no one would give two hoots about. Apart from the laugh

            • May 21st 2017 @ 9:42am
              Don Freo said | May 21st 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

              Carters, regardless of his junior or senior efforts, is a very impressive young man.

              He is a fellow who could support his philanthropy with some writing and public speaking. Carters uses language beautifully.

    • Roar Guru

      May 11th 2017 @ 3:49pm
      Rellum said | May 11th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

      Howard has been amazing for cricket in this country. He has brought a level marketing and management speak never before seen. Sure he has overseen

      The demise of domestic cricket to a meaningless series of practice matches.

      Turning the One day domestic comp into a pointless three week comp that has absolutely no baring on the national one day team selection, and reduced it to a near meaningless comp. I mean it has a development team playing in it now. What national comp has a development team playing in it..

      Taken the once great development system of Aus cricket and replaced it with a system that finds players of potential that are fast tracked from under 19 cricket to Shield and then national teams based on nothing but potential.

      The appointment and tenor of Mickey Arthur and the homework gate scandal.

      And others

      But those are just slight missteps for this great manager of Aus cricket.

      I am not against having someone in the role with no international cricket experience but they need to bring cricket forward, not destroy all that has come before to stop a few kids going to AFL. It would be better to have someone with international cricket experience, but we just need someone who loves the game and is highly qualified to manage it.

      • May 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm
        qwetzen said | May 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

        How Howard got this gig is one of the great unsolved mysteries of CA. Only applicant? The Marist mafia?

        Thought: As a qualified pharmacist he should be able to get a job in the NRL easy.

        • Roar Guru

          May 12th 2017 @ 11:24am
          JamesH said | May 12th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report


      • May 11th 2017 @ 8:34pm
        davSA said | May 11th 2017 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

        Was Arthur really a mistake. Came to CA with a very decent CV in Cricket of course. Talk was Michael Clarke would have made any coaches job difficult.

        • May 12th 2017 @ 9:49am
          Ross said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          The homework saga was the biggest joke in our cricketing history so whoever was responsible for that needed sacking

          • May 12th 2017 @ 7:39pm
            davSA said | May 12th 2017 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

            I actually found the whole saga at the time pretty surreal . I mean Arthur coached guys like Kallis , Gary Kirsten , Herschelle Gibbs and I would be staggered if they would have accepted a homework task either , I mean I am not sure if Hirsch can even read or write …. Did admit publically to never reading a book in his life…. Also Arthur is about as much of a dictatorial type as what Mother Theresa was .. So I suspect there was more to it.

            What was a joke though and it is relative to the article is AUS Cricket deliberately sending an poor side to South Africa to be hammered 5-0 .Believe me the Protea’s supporters would have let them have it throughout the series. I was embarrassed for their part … Notwithstanding the disrespect it showed SA cricket and its fans.

            Having left SA with tails between their legs they proceeded to lose the Test series convincingly aided in no small way by the confidence the rookies in the SA squad gained from the one dayers. They had no fear of the Mighty Australians.

            This was decision making of the lowest order and I believe that Pat Howard was central to that . If I am wrong I don’t mind others seeing me right .

            If a bit of silly homework got Arthur the chop. How the heck did the current lot survive.

            • May 12th 2017 @ 9:39pm
              Pope Paul VII said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

              The ludicrous Argus Report introduced the captain and the coach as selectors just as Mickey came into the role. I think the players have suffered ever since. At least they have seen sense and withdrawn the selector role from the captain.

            • May 16th 2017 @ 11:26am
              Bakkies said | May 16th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

              ‘I actually found the whole saga at the time pretty surreal . I mean Arthur coached guys like Kallis , Gary Kirsten , Herschelle Gibbs and I would be staggered if they would have accepted a homework task either’

              Those players were performing and had the right mental attitude. The Australian players were political, under performing and throwing the towel in. That Indian series was an embarrassment.

        • May 12th 2017 @ 10:54am
          qwetzen said | May 12th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

          “Was Arthur really a mistake.”

          At that stage; Yes. He was the first non-Australian appointed coach in a *very* closed shop, a fact that automatically created a lot of enemies. It’s probably not quite the anathema now that it was then as there’s been a few non-Oz appointees to lower level jobs. eg Hick.

          • May 13th 2017 @ 12:40am
            davSA said | May 13th 2017 @ 12:40am | ! Report

            I find that approach really insular and a bit isolationist qwetzen . It is the kind of stuff we expect from our brain dead politicians here in South Africa , “Only a South African can understand us to coach here “of course completely ignoring the fact that the finest cricket coach we ever had was Bob Woolmer , a Pom.
            I mean Gary Kirsten coached India with tremendous success and can you imagine the culture divide that he had to “understand”.

            • May 13th 2017 @ 8:29am
              qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

              “I find that approach really insular and a bit isolationist qwetzen .”

              Hey! Don’t shoot the messenger.

              • May 13th 2017 @ 4:43pm
                davSA said | May 13th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                Ha Ha . I think you may have a persecution complex qwetzen . I was not referring to you but to the AUS Cricket management . Apologies if it looked that way.

              • May 13th 2017 @ 5:38pm
                qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

                I don’t have a persecution complex. They ARE after me…

            • Roar Guru

              May 13th 2017 @ 12:20pm
              Rellum said | May 13th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              Only a Australian coach should coach Australia as we our the best cricketing nation in the History of the sport. If we cannot produce our own coaches who are as good or better than anyone else then something is seriously wrong. It would be like an Englishman coaching the Brazilian Football team.

              I never though Arthur should have got the job but the guy was on a very difficult wicket, having to deal with the argus report recommendations, Clarke would have been a nightmare for anyone (The team slid down under him and has started to recover since he left), Watson and other ego’s, a rebuilding team. The Aus dressing room is all about ego’s and politics something I don’t think Arthur was suited for.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 1:04am
                davSA said | May 16th 2017 @ 1:04am | ! Report

                Took me a while to respond Rellum . Better late than never. …I kind of hear your sentiments but same time don’t fully agree. If an Aussie business for example is looking for a new CEO and the best applicant is a foreigner ,, why not ?? If I were to reverse the roles a bit and and Aussie rugby coach were to put up his hand to coach The Springboks ( lets say an Eddie Jones ) I cannot see why being Australian should disqualify him.. ( Actually he did coach us as an assistant in the 2007 world cup ) which I don’t have to remind you we won.

              • Roar Guru

                May 16th 2017 @ 11:43am
                Rellum said | May 16th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                You would have to remind me as I don’t follow Rugby….sorry :).

                Cricket is a sport, not a business, despite James Sutherlands best intentions, so I do not think the CEO example matches up, but I understand your position.

    • May 11th 2017 @ 6:04pm
      Lee said | May 11th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

      Stuart Clark misses the point. Howard was schooled privately at one of the best establishments money can buy. The result is he knows which way to pass the port. This is immensely important to Cricket Australia it seems. The fact that the team has not progressed at all while he has be there is but a mere trifle.

      • May 12th 2017 @ 7:49am
        Jeff Dustby said | May 12th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

        His schooling makes zero inference

        • May 15th 2017 @ 9:23pm
          Stump Mike said | May 15th 2017 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

          Correct. I’d rather have a gentleman from a private All-Boys college over some half baked bogan from a low -brow public school any day.
          I’m not sure why some roarers insist on having a go at respectable people simply for having a decent education.
          Should a supermodel apologise for being beautiful ???

        • May 15th 2017 @ 9:23pm
          Stump Mike said | May 15th 2017 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

          Correct. I’d rather have a gentleman from a private All-Boys college over some half baked bogan from a low -brow public school any day.
          I’m not sure why some roarers insist on having a go at respectable people simply for having a decent education.
          Should a supermodel apologise for being beautiful ???

    • May 11th 2017 @ 6:31pm
      GD66 said | May 11th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

      I’m with Rellum, what they have done to the 50-over national comp, relegating it last year to a round robin carnival in the pre-season watched by nobody is absolutely scandalous and I can’t believe the BBQ mob coughed up their $$$ to go round again this year. If it was my money I would have been insulted and outraged and certainly wouldn’t contribute any further.
      Of course Sutherland would be dancing with glee at Howard’s re-appointment, he has another yes man to run his harebrained schemes past. I went to the Perth test against SA and when I subsequently received an email to rate my “experience” it was all based around how many advertisers and sponsors I had noticed and which had the biggest impact on me. Most of them I hadn’t been conscious of at all. I congratulate the head office for successful marketing and sponsorship campaigns but the administration of the test team is an absolute cartoon with the rooms bulging with hangers-on and selection policies defying logical belief. The team has come back well but you should question how they got so low in the first place.

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