Australian cricket is in the doldrums.
Soon after the South Africa sent the hosts packing at Hobart, talks of large scale changes began to surface. And now, just a day after the rather embarassing series defeat, heads have begun to roll. Rod Marsh, the Chariman of Australia’s National Selection Panel, has resigned on the back of the team’s recent debacles. His resignation is with immediate effect.
Marsh, who played 96 Test matches for Australia said it was time for a fresh injection of though process. “This is my own decision and no-one within Cricket Australia has pressured me or even suggested that I should do this," he said.
"Clearly, though, it is time for some fresh thinking, just as it is for our Test team to welcome some new faces as we build for the future.
I have always had the best interests of Australian cricket foremost in my heart, and that's why I have made this decision. I wish the captain, coach and the team all the best going forward. We will be great again."
James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia, suggested earlier today that several changes are expected ahead of the next day-night Test at Adelaide. But very few saw this resignation coming from Marsh.
Marsh’s contract was set to expire in June next year and last month, he had indicated that he would see out his term. Marsh had overseen the three changes for the second Test against South Africa. Joe Burns, Callum Ferguson and Joe Mennie had replaced the injured Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Peter Siddle.
A replacement for Marsh is likely to be named over the next couple of days as the Cricket Australia Board is due to huddle up in a meeting later tonight.
On the back of Australia’s poor run in Test cricket, coach Lehmann has stated that more changes would be made. He said that the players would have to go back to first-class cricket and play the next round of Sheffield Shield. “The lads are really keen to get out of here and get ready to play that game and prepare the best they can,” said Lehmann. He did not mince words and stated with utmost clarity that performances in Shield cricket will play a factor in the selection for the day-night Test at Adelaide.
David Peer, the Chairman of Cricket Australia, expressed his gratitude for the role that Marsh played. “Rod has played a pivotal role during a time of change in Australian cricket, which has seen the team hold the top positions in both Test and One-Day rankings as well as secure an ICC Cricket World Cup victory," he said.
“We understand this decision has not come easily for Rod and on behalf of Australian cricket we thank him for his leadership and the integrity and insight he brought to the role throughout his tenure as the National Selector and the lifelong commitment he has given to our sport. Above all else, Rod is an outstanding person.”
In a stellar career spanning 14 years, Rod Marsh played 96 Tests for Australia and executed 355 dismissals with his glove work. Post retirement, Marsh has played crucial roles in gromming the country future generation. Players such as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath blossomed during Marsh’s stint as the head of Australian Cricket Academy at Adelaide.