Cricket Australia (CA) will radically restructure its high performance structure in a bid to restore its international cricket performance following last summer’s Ashes loss and ICC World Cup disappointment. CA will move immediately to:
- Recruit a full-time national selector and add the Australian captain and coach to create a five-person panel.
- Expand the head coach role to be head of Australian cricket’s overall coaching function, leading the overall coaching strategy for Australian cricket.
- Create a new senior management role responsible for coaching, selection, the Centre of Excellence and working closely with the state cricket performance and talent managers. The role will be structured to have an absolute focus on elite performance and alignment of CA and state high performance goals.
CA’s Board today approved these three recommendations which were made by an Australian Team Performance Review (ATPR). The Review was chaired by eminent businessman Don Argus, with former Australian Cricket Board and International Cricket Council CEO Malcolm Speed and former captains Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor as its other members. It tabled its recommendations at a CA Board meeting in Melbourne today and the Executive Summary of the Report was publicly released after that meeting. Longer term, CA will consider a wide range of ATPR recommendations including to better align and co-ordinate the CA and state cricket associations’ high performance systems and to set up accountable, performance-related incentive systems through all levels of cricket.
CA Chairman Jack Clarke described the ATPR, which interviewed some 61 key people inside and outside Australian cricket, as the most significant examination of Australian cricket ever undertaken. “It is, to the best of my knowledge, the most exhaustive, comprehensive examination of Australian Cricket ever undertaken,” he said. “We don’t want quick fixes. We want to do this properly. This Report will, I believe, provide a blue print for cricket structures and systems that will give us the greatest likelihood of success in all forms of the game.” Mr Clarke stressed the Review was not about looking for scapegoats.
It was about understanding CA’s high performance structure and processes and what needed changing. Mr Clarke also emphasised the need for transparency in the delivery of the Report’s findings.
“The Report is being made public. Many may say this is unusual. It is not normally what you would see in Corporate Australia,” Mr Clarke said. “However, I believe it is very important that Cricket Australia is fully transparent.”
Mr Clarke said Australia dominated world cricket for an extra-ordinarily long while between 1987 and 2007.
“This successful period is now history and the Australian Team’s recent lack of success has been a concern for players, administrators and the cricket-loving public,” he said. “This review is about looking to the future and what we need to do to improve. “It is clear with the wisdom of hindsight that there are some issues that could have been addressed earlier. The right time for fundamental change to structures and processes is not always easy to pick, particularly with a system that has worked so well for so long. However, it is clear the world has moved on and a system that once worked is now in need of change. Australian cricket has many passionate, dedicated, professional and intelligent people working in their playing, coaching, selection and administrative roles. They cannot achieve success unless the system we give them allows them to be successful. The Report we received today, and the initial decisions we have made, draw on a number of the principles of a wide-ranging corporate restructure to better align Australian cricket’s high performance structure and processes and to allow the players to perform to their optimum and achieve success.
“I note the Report says there is an abundance of talent in Australian cricket, both playing talent and non-playing talent. The Board agrees with the review panel’s conclusion that we will improve our chances of success if we can harness that talent properly. Our undertaking to cricket fans is to seek to do that.”
The Review panel was asked to undertake an independent, fact-based analysis to understand the reasons for the decline in the Australian team’s performance and to recommend changes needed to deliver sustained success, including:
- Regaining number one Test status within four years
- Qualifying for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in 2013
- Regaining the Ashes in the same year
- Winning the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
- Winning the 2012 and 2014 ICC World Twenty20 championships