x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Australian cricket chiefs hit back over Shane Warne rotation row

Wally Edwards, chairman of Cricket Australia, gave his backing to selector John Inverarity following the former international's comments on his website about team selection.

Former Australian international cricketer Shane Warne.
Former Australian international cricketer Shane Warne.

Australian cricket chiefs have backed chief selector John Inverarity following stinging criticism from Shane Warne and other ex-players over the controversial rotation policy.

Warne used his website to speak out against resting players — particularly fast bowlers — to guard them from breaking down as a result of the relentless demands of international cricket.

But Wally Edwards, the Cricket Australia chairman, insisted the country was on the right track following a meeting with Inverarity and Pat Howard, the general manager of team performance.

The Cricket Australia board gave its "unequivocal support" for the controversial policy despite the criticism from Warne and others.

"To build a new cricket side is a long term thing ... I'm confident we're on the right track," Edwards said.

"They (Howard and Inverarity) noted that since the appointment of the current team performance leadership group Australia has played 15 Tests of which we've won 10. We've lost two and had three very creditable draws.

"In that time Australia has moved from fifth to third on the world Test rankings."

Warne had called for the best 11 to be selected at all times in each form of the game on his website.

"When we were number one there weren't mission statements flying around, but we got the selection process right and the best 11 were selected for every game," he said.

"Example: Glenn McGrath didn't want to be rotated or rested, he wanted to play every game, and we all did."

The comments from the former international appeared in the second part of a manifesto published on his site, and come a week after he labelled cricket chiefs "muppets".

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said he had a "robust discussion" at the weekend with Warne, second on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers, and invited him to work with Australia's spinners.

"There's no doubt about his passion and enthusiasm for the Australian cricket team to be successful," said Sutherland, who admitted the board could improve communication with fans and the media over selection.

"Hopefully there are opportunities for him down the track to be closer to us and have an even greater involvement," he added.

Australia current lead the West Indies 2-0 in their five-match ODI series, ahead of a four-Test tour to India later this month.


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