Top cricket selector falls on sword after Hobart humiliation

Australian selector Rod Marsh (centre) with coach Darren Lehmann and captain Steve Smith during a team net session.
Australian selector Rod Marsh (centre) with coach Darren Lehmann and captain Steve Smith during a team net session. DAVE HUNT

AUSTRALIA'S capitulation to South Africa in the second Test in Hobart has claimed its first casualty with chairman of selectors Rod Marsh falling on his sword.

The former champion wicketkeeper, 69, has resigned, effective immediately, five months before his contract was to expire.

The national selection panel has come under increasing fire following back-to-back defeats to the Proteas, which followed a 3-0 Test series whitewash in Sri Lanka and a 5-0 one-day international series defeat in South Africa.

"This is my own decision and no one within Cricket Australia has pressured me or even suggested that I should do this,” Marsh said in a statement.

"Clearly, though, it is time for some fresh thinking, just as it is for our Test team to welcome some new faces as we build for the future.

"I have always had the best interests of Australian cricket foremost in my heart, and that's why I have made this decision.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the role and want to thank the coach, the staff, my co-selectors and all the players for their support and honesty over the past two-and-a-half years. It was a thrill for me to be involved in many successes, including the World Cup win in 2015.

"I wish the captain, coach and the team all the best going forward. We will be great again.”

After an outstanding playing career, which yielded 355 dismissals behind the stumps in a 14-year career spanning from 1970 to 1984, Marsh went on to become head coach of the Australian cricket academy between 1990 and 2001, helping produce champions such as Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath.

He has been head selector since May 2014, during which time Australia has become world champion in the one-day arena and No.1 in Test cricket.

However, the country's slide has been rapid - and has ultimately cost Marsh his job.

"Rod has played a pivotal role during a time of change in Australian cricket, which has seen the team hold the top positions in both Test and one-day rankings as well as secure an ICC Cricket World Cup victory,” CA chairman David Peever said.

"We understand this decision has not come easily for Rod and on behalf of Australian cricket we thank him for his leadership and the integrity and insight he brought to the role throughout his tenure as the national selector and the lifelong commitment he has given to our sport. Above all else, Rod is an outstanding person.”

Topics:  australian cricket team editors picks test cricket

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