Ponting: Aussie cricket suffering through brain drain

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says former greats are opting for commentary over coaching because it pays better. Photo / photosport.nz.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says former greats are opting for commentary over coaching because it pays better. Photo / photosport.nz.

Ricky Ponting says Australian cricket is suffering a brain drain as greats choose the cashed-up commentary box ahead of coaching.

Ponting, Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie are expected to be canvassed about the role of chairman of selectors vacated by Rod Marsh on Wednesday.

Ponting has been watching Australia's car-crash test series against South Africa from London, commentating for British television.

"Cricket Australia know this. I've been telling them this for 100 years. They have to look at maybe paying state coaches more and trying to get the so-called experts in the game," Ponting told AllOutCricket.com.

"And it's the same in England. If you look through the greats of the game, how many of those guys are actually back inside the system coaching somewhere? They're not. They're all sitting back behind a microphone commentating because they get paid more and it's less intrusive time-wise. I think it's something that needs to be looked at."

Cricket Australia again has turned to Trevor Hohns and Greg Chappell as stop-gap measures on the selection panel. Hohns will act as interim chairman until a replacement is found for Marsh, who quit after five consecutive test losses.

Hohns, who presided over one of Australia's most successful test periods, was named interim chairman at CA's extraordinary board meeting on Wednesday night. Former test captain and CA national talent manager Greg Chappell will also join the panel on an interim basis - he returns after chequered past selection stints.

But Chappell is best-placed to judge - and push - the selection cases of the nation's crop of young batsmen, given his talent manager role.

"His in-depth knowledge of up-and-coming talent in the Australian system will be invaluable," CA chairman David Peever said in a statement.

Steve Waugh and Ponting are yet to confirm any interest in the chairman's job but Gillespie has said he'll speak to CA bosses, who won't be rushed into a decision.

"It is vital that Australian cricket finds the best candidate for this role," Peever said.

Hohns was selector from 1993 to 2006, a tenure that included 10 years as chairman of the panel during Australia's record run of 16-straight test wins under skipper Steve Waugh (1999-2001). His experience will be vital in a crunch weekend selection meeting ahead of the third test in Adelaide against South Africa.

Up to six changes could be made in the effort to snap Australia's test losing streak when Hohns, Chappell, Mark Waugh and coach Darren Lehmann sit down to discuss the team, which is expected to be announced on Sunday.

Australia will be trying to avoid a series whitewash against South Africa when the day-night third test in Adelaide starts next Thursday.

"Naturally the board and our senior executive are disappointed with the recent test performances," Peever said.

Some Australian test trivia
* Most consecutive test losses: 7 (1885-88)
* Six consecutive test losses: 3 times (2013, 1984-85, 1926-29)
* South Africa first touring nation to win three consecutive test series in Australia since West Indies (1984-93)
* Only other nations to record the feat is England (1884-88 - in one-test series)
AAP

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