Former players, experts call on Hilditch to axe himself over selection blunders

January 1st, 2009 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan.1 (ANI): Former Test players Rodney Hogg, Darren Lehmann and John Benaud have slammed the Australian cricket selection committee over its handling of selections this summer, particularly with regard to the inclusion of all-rounder Andrew Symonds. They have all called on chief selector Andrew Hilditch to accept responsibility and resign over the fiasco.
“They are all over the place. Heads should roll (in the selection panel). They must have known Symonds was not fit in Melbourne and when he did not come on to bowl until after the 100-over mark (chairman of selectors) Andrew Hilditch must have felt like resigning, the Courier Mail quoted Hogg, as saying.
“If Hilditch wasn”t totally embarrassed by Symonds’’s selection in that Test match, then it’’s a joke. This side has not got Warne and McGrath. They need a fifth bowler,” he added.
Lehmann, the president of the Australian Cricketers” Association, said Australia must ensure there is no repetition of the Symonds debacle where the all-rounder was chosen with a knee injury that will require surgery.
“That is a real issue the selectors have to get right. It just proves you have to pick people who are 100 percent fit for every Test match. The time has come for reality checks on which way we are going in Australian cricket regarding the selection process,” Lehmann said.
Lehmann had no issue with the retention of Matthew Hayden in the third Test side, but said the 37-year-old might consider it best to retire from one-day cricket if he was to fulfill his goal of making the Ashes tour.
“If they want to get Matthew through to the Ashes, why don”t they play him in Sheffield Shield games for the rest of the year instead of the one-dayers?” Lehmann said.
Former Test selector Benaud said he would not have chosen Hayden for the Sydney Test, and added that Australia had made a blunder by playing defensive off-spinner Nathan Hauritz rather than the more attacking Jason Krejza.
“I can”t believe they picked Hauritz in Melbourne. Why would you pick a defensive bowler in a Test you have to win? Krejza is a much better bowler, an attacking bowler. He is a ready-made international spin bowler,” Benaud said. (ANI)

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