Australia’s selection panel has been formally shaved down to three members, with the new coach Justin Langer to take primary responsibility for the Twenty20 format after the resignation of Mark Waugh.
Langer will act as “chair” in discussion around T20I squads, while the national selector Trevor Hohns and national talent manager Greg Chappell will be more focused on Tests and ODIs. State talent managers and Big Bash League coaches will also be consulted more thoroughly, with the reduced panel unable to be present at every Sheffield Shield match.
The panel changes were approved at a meeting of the CA Board in Melbourne.
While the new structure is not as dramatic a change as that adopted previously by New Zealand – essentially placing selection in the hands of the national coach with help from a selection manager – it increases Langer’s say in selection beyond the level previously granted to Darren Lehmann and Mickey Arthur, after the 2011 Argus review recommended that the coach be a selector.
“We believe the changes to the structure of the selection process will deliver the best possible result for the Australian Men’s Cricket Team across all formats,” Cricket Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard said. “Having a selector focus on the T20 format for the past 18 months was viewed as a success, particularly as we now sit third in ICC rankings in this format, and we will look to continue this in a slightly modified way.
“This sees Justin take on additional responsibility as both the head coach and lead selector in Twenty20 cricket, as we build towards the ICC World T20 in Australia in 2020. Justin has performed a similar role previously while coach of the Perth Scorchers, and has a wealth of knowledge around the Big Bash League and its players.
“The changes also see the State Talent Managers and Big Bash League coaches involved in the selection process for Twenty20 cricket, as we consult our experts in Australian cricket.”
Australia’s T20 selections have grown increasingly BBL-focused over the past seven years with a trend of improving results in 2018 which included winning the tri-series involving England and New Zealand. However, the Test and ODI teams face an uphill task during the 2018-19 season, dealing without the suspended Steven Smith and David Warner in particular.
Waugh resigned from the panel to take up a larger scale role commentating for Fox Sports as part of the new AUD1.18 billion broadcast rights deal that also includes the Seven Network. He had previously juggled selection with BBL commentary for Ten.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.