There has been many supporters of the Australian Test Cricket Team that have been steaming for a while about the current selection panel, headed by partially successful SA and Australian opening batsman, Andrew Hilditch. This is the man whose selection panel has been responsible for the sacking of Jason Krejza after one poor match in Perth – not a good spinners wicket – despite getting 12 Indian wickets in his previous test; leaving Stuart MacGill on the sidelines in the 2005 Ashes series, whilst Warne was confusing the Englishmen. And then there was the Johnson In – Out of Adelaide shemozzle. And Michael Beer. Remember him? I’m not sure Hilditch does. Indeed, there have been so many changes, stuff-ups and poor choices from this selection committee that I really can’t name them all without wanting to throw this nice keyboard at the wall. Perhaps others can name some.
But this takes the cake. And eats it, in the fine dining rooms, far above the tragics who pay good money for each day of cricket. And then throws it back on that poor punter who has paid the $96 for a decent seat in the Victor Trumper stand at the SCG. Simon Katich has been dropped from the contracted players’ list because they are concerned about the opening partnership for the 2013 Ashes series. 2013!
This is still 2011, as far as I can see, and there are a whole host of test matches between now and 2013. So, is Andrew Hilditch telling us that the 2011 / 12 test season doesn’t matter? That’s it’s simply a training run for the 2013 Ashes? That you leave out Australia’s best performing batsman over the past two years, put in the underperforming Phil Hughes, because you are worried about 2013? If you doubt that there is no form related reason with this sacking – look at this graph (courtesy of @grogsgamut).
This is proof that it’s Hilditch that has to go – that the selection panel has lost touch with any semblance of professionalism and respect for the cricket supporter – that it shows it doesn’t care for what will be a tough season, by leaving out one of the toughest Australian players available. And, by the way, leaving in two players the same age as Katich – Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting – who have not performed with the same consistency as Katich has in recent time.
So, people, get behind a campaign with a hashtag suggested by NSW Liberal Premier, Barry O’Farrell – #sackhilditchnotkatich. Boycott all games organised by Cricket Australia until it decides to include Katich in the contracted players’ list and remove Andrew Hilditch from the chairman’s role. I’m certainly taking much less of an interest from now on. Pathetic.