CRICKET Australia’s new general manager has hit the ground running and will begin interviews to find a new chairman of selectors this week. Pat Howard, a former rugby union high-performance manager, was appointed last Friday and is being guided by Mark Taylor in the search for somebody to take on the new job. Howard’s hiring has allowed Cricket Australia to fast-track the recruitment of a new head coach and a new selection panel, including a full-time chairman, in line with changes recommended by the Argus review. The organisation announced yesterday it had appointed corporate headhunters to scour the world for potential candidates for the new role of head coach.
It is understood Tom Moody has applied for both positions. Current West Australian and former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur is also very keen on the coaching job, while there are rumours Justin Langer and New Zealand’s John Wright are interested, although the latter is committed to the Black Caps until July next year. The good money, however, is on Steve Rixon. Howard has made it clear Michael Clarke would have input into the selection of the coach, and the new captain is a fan of Rixon.
The new general manager of team performance will also begin interviewing candidates for the selectors roles and The Australian understands that board member, former captain and member of the Argus review panel, Taylor, will sit in on the sessions to offer his expert opinion as Howard does not have a cricket background.
Cricket Australia chairman James Sutherland told The Australian yesterday that the organisation had hired a corporate recruitment agency that has done work for AFL clubs to help in the search for a new coach. “We have had a look around but my view is that I wanted to make sure everyone knew we were seeking a coach,” Sutherland said. “Most people inAustraliaknow that but I want that awareness around the world in cricketing countries. It is certainly not a reflection of where we are at. We have got a good list of possibles, but before we get to the next stage I want to make sure that we have cast the net widely around the world.”
Troy Cooley is acting coach on the South African tour after Tim Nielsen stood down at the end of the Sri Lankan tour. The Argus review identified the appointment of the general manager of team performance then coach and selectors as critical before the summer. “The timing is important,” Sutherland said. “We are in a rush, but we are not going to compromise the outcomes by falling over ourselves to get it done.” Sutherland said the appointment of Howard reflected his belief that cricket could benefit from outside appointments. The chief executive would not confirm interviews for selectors would take place this week. “That may be the case, I am not going to speak specifically about process and what is involved,” he said. “All I can say is there are ongoing discussions and I wouldn’t want anybody thinking we are coming to a conclusion because we are far from that.” Sutherland admitted the recruitment of Howard, a new coach and a full-time chairman of selectors had made a significant impact on the budget.