Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Howzat? Questions to Answer in Review; Plenty for Panel to Look At

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Howzat? Questions to Answer in Review; Plenty for Panel to Look At

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE LARKIN of AAP

TIME for change or just changing times a Australian cricket is in rare uncertainty.

How long does Ricky Ponting want to captain?

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch's contract is up.

What of the future of coach Tim Nielsen, dubbed Teflon Tim because criticism thrown at him doesn't stick?

And how about the team's ageing core a Ponting and the likes of Brett Lee, Mike Hussey and Simon Katich?

Also, the injury-prone and erratic fast-bowling ranks?

Australia has slipped to fifth in the Test rankings, and been turfed out of the World Cup with a quarter-final loss to India.

aI think it's premature to say it's the end of an era for Australian cricket,a Ponting said after the loss to India.

But hard facts say otherwise.

The three high office holders in Australian cricket a Ponting, Nielsen and Hilditch a have large question marks after their names.

But not until August will answers be known.

The trio, and the frayed fabric of the game in Australia, is under review by a panel commissioned by Cricket Australia.

The panel features Australia's past three captains a Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Allan Border.

It is chaired by former BHP Billiton boss Don Argus, with former Cricket Australia and International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed his deputy.

Heavy hitters, one and all.

But they won't play a shot until August, when Cricket Australia expects delivery of their report.

Hilditch will continue as selection chairmen until then, despite his contract expiring at the end of the World Cup.

A gritty opening bat in his playing days, Hilditch remains equally dogged now. He won't walk. He'll have to be given out.

aIt will be for someone else to tell me when I'm not required,a Hilditch said in January in the wake of an Ashes loss so heavy that it prompted the unprecedented review.

Hilditch has been a selector since 1996, and chairman of the panel since April, 2006, when Trevor Hohns retired.

In the good old days, when Australia trampled the cricketing world, Hilditch was rarely noticed. …

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