Nothing seems going right for Australian chief selector Andrew Hilditch who incurred the media’s wrath for a beach stroll with his pet dog in Adelaide.
As Matthew Hayden,Australia’s biggest selection dilemma,batted for his career in the final Test in Sydney on Saturday,Hilditch was photographed holidaying in the picturesque Sellicks Beach in Adelaide,walking the dog along with his wife and daughter.
Even though Hilditch was not on duty to watch the Sydney Test – fellow selector David Boon was there the media in Melbourne reacted in anger,lambasting the national selection panel chairman for going on a holiday instead of watching,on television,how Hayden batted.
“Cricket officials were in a flap over the weekend when photos confirmed the existence of the game’s own Loch Ness Monster,Andrew Hilditch,” said the ‘Courier Mail’.
“It was…a surprise he preferred to walk his dog instead of watching Hayden bat,given the Queenslander’s future is his biggest call of the summer.
“We all love our pets,but couldn’t the dog have been walked during the lunch break?” it asked.
Drawing a comparison with his predecessors,the writer went on to suggest that Hilditch,a full-time lawyer,could not do justice to the chief selector’s job.
“Since he took over as national selection chairman Hilditch simply has not tackled his public responsibilities with the same gusto as his predecessors,Trevor Hohns and Laurie Sawle.
“…As a full-time lawyer in Adelaide he already had a cramped schedule,perhaps too cramped to fit two jobs into one day,” it said.
Describing Hilditch as a reclusive person,the writer said he had failed to be the public face of the selection panel despite getting adequately paid for that.
“…it is not as if he is being paid mere petrol money to do the job. As chairman,his salary of more than 100,000 dollar is twice as much as those of the other three selectors Merv Hughes,Jamie Cox and David Boon and part of the extra money is a sweetener for being the public face of the panel.
“So far it has been a very private public face,” he added.
Another daily,’Herald Sun’,didn’t spare him either.
“As Australia’s cricket team struggled on the opening day of the Third Test yesterday,one of the men charged with charting its success was on a beach in holiday mode.
“As Hilditch sunned himself at picturesque Sellicks Beach,and South Africa prepared to put Australia to the sword,the selector’s non-appearance in the stands raised eyebrows after a week of intense scrutiny over the level of talent in the national side,” it added.
Even though a Cricket Australia spokesman defended Hilditch’s no-show and said he could not be at every venue every day,the daily was less than convinced.
It went on to quote former selector John Benaud as saying that the current selection panel was “too conservative” and needed be overhauled to include spin legend Shane Warne.
“I think at least one change (to the panel) is worthwhile. Take out either Hilditch,(David) Boon or (Jamie) Cox one of those three must go,” Benaud said.