Shortlisted applicants were last week interviewed by CA’s executive general manager of national teams Ben Oliver, selector Trevor Hohns and people and culture manager for team performance Nathan Bower, who played 74 AFL games for Richmond in the 1990s.
According to one person familiar with the process, the selection panel is assessing contenders across four key sections: data and analytics, communication, format focus and team fit complement.
Bailey, a long-time state captain who played at international level in all three formats, is widely respected within Australian cricket, as is Klinger. The latter has a big admirer in national coach and selector Justin Langer from their days together in Western Australia.
Hodge had appeared a strong candidate after specialising in T20 late in his playing career before coaching in the world’s strongest competition the Indian Premier League, but the selection panel is looking elsewhere.
“The way I read it is round circles don’t fit into square holes,” Hodge told The Tonk. “Unfortunate for me but there must clearly be some good candidates out there.”
Hodge, you will remember, had a frosty relationship with selectors during a 20-plus year career, as did White.
Hodge, who dominated at Shield level, played just six Tests and was famously dumped from the side just two games after making an unbeaten double century. Hohns described White’s international career as not being “earth shattering” in response to criticism from the player about Australia’s selection policy.
Though CA is hoping to have the new selector in place before the first Test, he will not be playing a role in picking that side.
“It is interesting that they are being given at the opportunity to fast track a ‘new’ ball trial with no track record.
“Dukes had to have our ball extensively tested and trialled in Futures [League] for three years before we were given a chance to have it used in the Sheffield Shield where it is proving to be extremely successful and was endorsed by the players.”
Kookaburra were playing a straight bat on Thursday.
“We’ve worked cooperatively with Cricket Australia/the Australian Cricket Board since the 1940s and are continuously undertaking research and development to improve balls, so it’s not a new thing,” a spokesman said.
Press and pollies to Duke it out
On a lighter note, Dukes are supplying the ball for the Press Gallery XI v Pollies game. Dilip Jajodia has sent out a box of balls from the company’s London factory with the message “hit them like Steve Smith and bowl them like Stuart Broad”.
It’s been a rough time for the racing industry, which is reeling from an explosive report by the ABC’s 7.30 program on the grim fate of retired horses, but here’s a good news story from another sport jostling for the limelight at this time of year.
Cricket Australia chairman, racing enthusiast and horse owner Earl Eddings has given away one of his retired gallopers, Pakaya Prince, to Paralympian Emma Booth.
The seven-year-old, which won six races and nearly $170,000 in prize money, is to be trained as an equestrian horse.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald