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'I'd Like to See Paine Become Selector' - Ponting

On the back of Agar and Coulter-Nile's comments, Ponting said communication and feedback on how selectors believe players can improve remains critical.

Cricketnext Staff |January 8, 2019, 2:23 PM IST
'I'd Like to See Paine Become Selector' - Ponting

While Australian captain Tim Paine does not see himself in the role during his playing days even though he gets a say, but former captain Ricky Ponting believes that he should be made a national selector. Australia losing their first home series to India has put the spotlight on the selection panel and the misfiring top order.

Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar respectively labelled the communication from selectors as "poor" and "vague" this week following their omissions from Australia's one-day squad.

"I've got enough on my plate at the moment," Paine said when asked if he'd like to join the panel with the chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, coach Justin Langer and national talent manager Greg Chappell.

"I'm happy when I'm asked my opinion and will give it. As for down the track, I wouldn't mind a crack at it in four or five years."

Ponting conceded that the job of being a selector is a "thankless task", but also maintains that the Australian captain should have a seat in the selection meeting.

"I said when I was playing, as captain I was desperate to be an actual selector,” Ponting told “More (for) communication reasons than anything else, it wasn't because I didn't always get the team I wanted.

"To be accountable and to be able to communicate well among your players, I thought it was vital that the captain could pass on his views to the players directly. I don't know if that's happening now or not.

"I'd like to see the captain become a selector.

"It just makes communication easier, it makes it clearer, if the players know it's coming from the captain, someone who's there working with them on a daily basis. You'd like to see whatever he had to say to the players would be honest and to the point. I've said it for years that I'd like to see it that way."

Ponting, during his days as captain did not have the responsibility of a selector unlike his predecessor Steve Waugh and his successor Michael Clarke, both of whom had the role of a selector at various points.

Waugh and his deputy had a say before leaving out Michael Slater out of a Test in 2001, and that eventually led to Waugh asking for the captain to be relieved of selection duties.

It was Ponting, who along with the help of a subsequent recommendation from the Argus Review, that brought the Test captain back to the selection table in 2011. But unfortunately for him, he did not get his chance as the captaincy had been handed over to Clarke by then.

Clarke though resigned from the panel after Mickey Arthur's sacking two years later and the skipper has not been a formal member of the panel since.

More often than not a proposal to have a captain as a selector as well is met with the rebuttal that a teammate should not decide another’s future, something which Waugh found difficult to deal with in 2001 when on tour.

But given the fact that Paine has input into who is picked, Ponting believes formalising the role would make the panel more accountable.

"He's doing that (having a say in selection) anyway," said Ponting. "The selectors are still asking him what he thinks of them (players) and their futures.

"It's no different (if Paine was a selector), except he has full accountability around the group then.

"I'm sure it probably gets to the stage (currently) at times when Tim might not get a certain player in the team that he wants or there might be someone in the team that he might not want there – how does he then remain honest with them?

"But if he's a selector then he can be honest with them. That's what I've always felt about it.

"It would be a much more open and honest environment if he was a selector, I think."

On the back of Agar and Coulter-Nile's comments, Ponting said communication and feedback on how selectors believe players can improve remains critical.

"It's a pretty tough job to be selecting Australian teams," he said.

"From reading between the lines, the thing that seems to be disappointing the most seems to be the lack of communication or the communication channels between selectors and players – and maybe even selectors to the media on certain players – either selections or non-selections.

"I just hope the communication between the players and the selectors is as good and as it can be.

"If someone's been left out or not picked for a certain tour or squad, the first thing you do as a selector is get on the phone and let them know the reasons. How else as a player do you improve?

"Let's hope that's right – I've had a lot to do with Greg Chappell and Trevor Hohns and Justin and Tim Paine over the years. They're all terrific people working their backsides off trying to do the right thing by Australian cricket."

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