Spin great Shane Warne says he’s willing to help out Cricket Australia and questions why more of his former international teammates haven’t been appointed as consultants.
The upheaval at CA continued to unfold this week, with executives Pat Howard and Ben Amarfio the latest powerful figures to depart the governing body. In his column for the Herald Sun, Warne said the experienced of retired Test players should be used more to help bring through the next crop of Australian talent.
“I put my hand up to Pat Howard a few times, told him I was available if they needed me,” Warne wrote. “I’ve always been happy to get involved in any role if Cricket Australia thought I could help the team. I’m sure all the ex-players would be the same.
“We’ve got a lot of spinners coming through who I’ve helped in an informal role and I’m more than happy to help in a formal basis if required. Why not ask Glenn McGrath, offer him a contract to help with the fast bowlers?”
Warne said “we just think we are going to produce cricketers” but that wouldn’t happen until the right people were involved and the right environment was put in place.
“Everyone is jumping on the players because they are not performing but we have to take a step back and ask why? Are they good enough?” he wrote. “The talent in Australia is good. It comes back to how they are being taught to play, more importantly the style they are being taught to play.”
CA could potentially split Howard’s job in two as it seeks to fix the high-performance flaws laid bare in The Ethics Centre’s scathing independent report. CA is in no rush to replace Howard, wanting to make sure it gets the right person or people in place for next year’s World Cup and Ashes in England.
Former Australia captain Belinda Clark, another member of CA’s executive, will serve as interim boss of team performance following Howard’s sacking but at this stage she has little interest in the full-time role.
Steve Waugh has already been nominated as an ideal candidate, having overseen Australia’s golden era then acquired a strong knowledge of CA’s pathways program while following the development of son Austin. Former Test quicks Stuart Clark and Michael Kasprowicz have also been floated as contenders.
Brett Jones, the 2006 AFL premiership player now in charge of high performance at Queensland Cricket, headlines the list of managers at state level who could step up.
But CA must first decide how and if it will restructure the role, created as per a recommendation from the 2011 Argus review, that left Howard sitting above the men’s and women’s national coaches while juggling domestic cricket duties, pathway programs and all manner of metrics.
CA chief executive Kevin Roberts made it clear that Howard’s replacement will come from a cricket background, ensuring he or she would not face the same resistance the former Wallabies five-eighth encountered.
National one-day captain Aaron Finch suggested Howard, whose seven-year tenure came to an abrupt end on Wednesday, did an “outstanding job”.
“In his position, you’re in a no-win position … you have to rob Peter to pay Paul,” Finch said.