Hilditch walks on beach while Aussie pride burns Down Under

January 4th, 2009 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Jan 4 (ANI): Australias chief selector Andrew Hilditch took a leisurely walk along the beach near his home in Adelaide instead of watching his team playing South Africa to salvage some lost pride at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hilditch chairs the selection panel that picked the current team that has thrown away its world No.1 crown. He gets paid close to 120,000 dollars a year to do the job, the Courier Mail reported.

But as Australian captain Ricky Ponting was dismissed for a first-ball duck and opener Matt Hayden failed to score a career-saving knock as the home team stumbled towards a 3-0 series defeat, Hilditch said it wasnt his duty to be at the SCG.

Hilditch and his three fellow-selectors, David Boon, Merv Hughes and Jamie Cox, have been criticized for sticking with struggling opener Hayden, and playing injured allrounder Andrew Symonds in last weeks Boxing Day Test.

As the match got under way on Saturday, Hilditch spent an hour walking along the Sellicks Beach cliffs near Adelaide, returning to his two-storey apartment 30 minutes after the start of play.

When approached by The Courier Mail, he did not say if he knew the score at the SCG or even who had won the toss (Australia) and who was batting (Australia).

Im not the selector on duty for the Test match, he said.

The current tension within the game was underlined when Cricket Australia last night took the unusual step of issuing a press release about Hilditch and Ponting.

CA chairman Jack Clarke defended Hilditch and Ponting and said they had received unfair criticism.

CA spokesman Philip Pope yesterday also defended Hilditchs absence, saying the four-man selection panel rotated the member to attend each match because of the amount of cricket the Australian side plays. (ANI)

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