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Aussie selector Hohns resigns amid criticism

Published: Monday, April 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:The long-time chairman of Australia's national cricket selectors, Trevor Hohns, announced his resignation after coming under increasing criticism over a series of controversial team choices.

Cricket Australia said Hohns was quitting after a decade as chairman of the selectors' panel to devote more time to his business interests.

"The change has come due to Hohns' increasing business commitments, which will occupy a lot more of his time due to the pending retirement of his business partner," it said in a statement on Tuesday.

No information was given about a replacement for Hohns to head the panel, though Cricket Australia said it expected to announce an appointment quickly.

Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O'Connor paid tribute to Hohns, who joined the selectors' panel in 1993 and had been its chairman since 1996.

"Trevor has fulfilled one of Australian crickets most important roles in what has been one of the most successful eras in our history," OConnor said.

He said Hohns had played a "pivotal" role in helping Australia remain the world's top Test and one-day international team.

But he also acknowledged controversy which has increasingly surrounded some of the selectors' choices.

"The role of chairman draws a lot of public and media scrutiny and seldom receives the recognition it deserves," he said.

Hohns also admitted things were not always easy.

"Despite its obvious challenges, I have certainly enjoyed the role and can only hope that my contribution has in some small way assisted Australian cricket," he said.

During Hohns' time on the selectors' panel, Australia had a phenomenal Test record of 35 series won, five drawn and just six lost.

During the same period, the selectors brought 39 players into the Test team and 46 into the one-day squad.

But over the past year, there has also been growing criticism of the panel's choices.

Last month Test batting great Mark Waugh said Hohns had "lost his way" after a decade in the job and should step aside.

Waugh said a constant string of changes had been "confusing" for the team and led players to focus more on keeping their spot than contributing to Australia's performance.

"These decisions might spur the players to play for themselves rather than the team," Waugh said in a column in Melbourne's Age newspaper. "Hohns has done an admirable job but it might just be time to give someone else a go."

Among the controversial decisions under Hohns was the failure to make more use of spinner Stuart McGill during last year's Ashes tour to England, which Australia lost for the first time in 16 years.

Waugh also slammed Hohns for axeing batsman Brad Hodge from the Test team now in South Africa, even though he averages nearly 60 runs a Test and scored a double century against South Africa in the recent series in Australia.

He also criticised the selectors' failure to play quick Brett Lee during the Test series in New Zealand last year and the decision to drop batsman Michael Clarke, who has since been reinstated, as examples of erratic selection.

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