Calls for Warne to lead Australia selection panel

Published: Sunday, January 4, 2009, 12:11 [IST]
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'Warne perfect to lead Oz selection panel'

Melbourne: Former Test selector John Benaud has called for an overhaul of Australia"s selection panel, and said that legend Shane Warne would be the ideal candidate to lead a new era.

Criticising the current selection panel, Benaud labelled the national selectors “too conservative" and believes Andrew Hilditch, Jamie Cox or David Boon must be sacked.

The selection quartet of Hilditch, Cox, Boon and Merv Hughes has been pilloried in the wake of South Africa"s series win, with the panel particularly under fire for selecting an injured Andrew Symonds for the Boxing Day Test, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Benaud, part of the selection team that handed Warne his Test debut in 1992, said the current panel has failed to make the tough call by dropping struggling opener Matthew Hayden.
With chairman of selectors Hilditch under pressure to resign, Benaud said Warne had the innovation and flair to be a revelation as a national selector.

“You need a personality like him," he said.

“He reads the game well, he has that flair, he won"t be afraid to take a risk. I think Warnie would be a tremendous asset, but he"s locked into TV commentary, so whether he would have the time to do it, I don"t know.

“I have no doubt Warnie would be excellent. I think the selectors have been too conservative at times," he added.

Benaud was a national selector from 1988-93.

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