Melbourne: Australia"s chief selector Andrew Hilditch took a leisurely walk along the beach near his home in Adelaide instead of watching his team playing South Africa to salvage some lost pride at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Hilditch chairs the selection panel that picked the current team that has thrown away its world No.1 crown. He gets paid close to 120,000 dollars a year to do the job, the Courier Mail reported.
But as Australian captain Ricky Ponting was dismissed for a first-ball duck and opener Matt Hayden failed to score a career-saving knock as the home team stumbled towards a 3-0 series defeat, Hilditch said it wasn"t his “duty" to be at the SCG.
Hilditch and his three fellow-selectors, David Boon, Merv Hughes and Jamie Cox, have been criticized for sticking with struggling opener Hayden, and playing injured allrounder Andrew Symonds in last week"s Boxing Day Test.
As the match got under way on Saturday, Hilditch spent an hour walking along the Sellicks Beach cliffs near Adelaide, returning to his two-storey apartment 30 minutes after the start of play.
When approached by The Courier Mail, he did not say if he knew the score at the SCG or even who had won the toss (Australia) and who was batting (Australia).
“I"m not the selector on duty for the Test match," he said.