New chairman named

Former Australian Test opener Andrew Hilditch has been announced as Trevor Hohns' successor as Chairman of the National Selection Panel (NSP) for the Australian cricket team.

Hilditch played 18 tests for Australia between 1979 and 1985 and has been on the NSP for the last 10 years, though his elevation now leaves another gap to be filled on the panel.

Hilditch said he was excited about the appointment and planned to continue Australia's rebuilding process with an eye towards the Ashes and next year's World Cup defence.

The current Test team has only one player under 30, Brett Lee, and faces the daunting prospect of losing strike bowlers Shane Warne and Glen McGrath to retirement in the near future.

"We've been regenerating the side slowly and trying to stay the number side in both forms of the game while rebuilding the side and that's been a very successful process," Hilditch said.

"I think we've done very well this year, we're winning Test series, which is important, but also getting ready for the Ashes, it's a focus we've had for some time and we think it's going well."

Hohns stepped down on Tuesday after ten years in the position, citing increased business commitments for his decision, and Hilditch was quick to pay tribute to his predecessor.

"Trever Hohns has been an inspirational chairman," Hilditch said. "He has shown great courage, integrity and honesty at all times."

"He has led Australian cricket through probably its most successful ever era and set a new benchmark in selections in both how he dealt with the panel, how he dealt with the media and how he dealt with the players."

"I'd be happy to move in behind that and do as well as he did."

Hohns made several controversial and arguably unpopular decisions during his tenure, including the recent axing of Victorian Brad Hodge, and Hilditch said he was fully prepared to make the tough decisions as well.

"I think they're only tough because we're with some of the best players of all time, several of the them in the one side, so there's always going to be tough decisions, no doubt about that.

"I think we've made a lot of progress this year and we’ve got many good young players not in the team so I think the future's really rosy."

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Burger King Tui CCC Powerade Caltex 2 Degrees GJ Gardner BLK
Sky Pitch Radio Sport TAB Accor Hotels Les Mills