Cricket chiefs hit back after stinging attack by Warne
SYDNEY — Australian cricket chiefs on Monday backed chief selector John Inverarity after stinging criticism from Test great Shane Warne and other former 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 Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards insisted Australia were on the right track after meeting under-fire Inverarity and the body’s GM of team performance, Pat Howard.
The Cricket Australia board gave its "unequivocal support" for the methods being used after Howard and Inverarity addressed the board of directors in Melbourne on Monday against a backdrop of criticism from former players and the media.
Edwards said Australia, who dominated international cricket for more than a decade, were bidding to become the world’s top side by adopting policies formulated after the release of a wide-ranging report 18 months ago. "To build a new cricket side is a long-term thing … I’m confident we’re on the right track," he 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."
Earlier on Monday Warne, on his website, called for the best 11 to be selected at all times in each form of the game.
"When we were No1 there weren’t mission statements flying around, but we got the selection process right and the best 11 (players) were selected for every game," Warne noted.
"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 spin legend came in part two of his manifesto entitled, "Where is Australian cricket at?" Last week he called cricket chiefs "muppets".
Cricket Australia head James Sutherland said he had a "robust discussion" at the weekend with Warne and invited him to work with Australia’s spin bowlers.
"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, currently third in one-day rankings as well, lost their recent Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka after drawing the one-day series and beating the visitors in the Test series.
The home side lead the West Indies 2-0 in their five-match one-day international series before heading off on a four-Test tour to India later this month.