Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Open Letter to James Sutherland re Chairman of Selectors Position

To: James Sutherland, CEO Cricket Australia
Re: Application for Chairman of Selectors of National Selection Panel


Several years ago I sent through my application for a number of positions that had come up as a result of the Argus Report - those being to become coach of the Australian Cricket Team, to fill the new position of General Manager of Team Performance, and to become Chairman of Selectors of the new National Selection Panel. Unfortunately, you chose to overlook my applications for all three positions.

I think on review of our current situation in Australian Cricket, that you will agree that that was a serious error in judgement on your part.

With the resignation today of Rod Marsh as Chairman of Selectors, I again put forward my application to fill this role, and return Australian Cricket to its rightful position as the finest cricket nation on the planet.

Obviously we all understand that the selectors can only choose the players to be a part of the team, and cannot be held responsible for their actual performance. I can be upfront in saying that this is exactly the line I will be using should the team not improve on my watch. Of course, I don’t expect this to be the case, because I will be enforcing several new measures to ensure that our national cricket teams regain their winning ways immediately.

I bring to the table immense experience in both captaining and selecting some of the losingest teams in the history of cricket. No one has captained with such a stunning lack of success on the field, nor been a selector in eras of local cricket club teams that have performed so woefully on my watch. I am generally accepted as one of the finest losing cricketers of my generation, if not all generations. With this amazing track record, I can assure you that all it will take to ensure that I can turn around Australia’s cricket fortunes, is for me to go against every instinctive selection policy I will come up with, and by doing the exact opposite of this, I will be able bring success to our great nation once again.
I haven’t played a lot of representative cricket. I haven’t played for my state or country. I haven’t won awards, and I haven’t played on the great grounds of the world. I have tried to make a mockery of myself on social media, and have tried to pick fights with famous cricketers on Twitter in order to have my words slapped back in my face.

What I have done is watched a shitload of cricket over the past 40 years, at all levels. I can tell you stats don’t always tell the tale. 200 Test wickets doesn’t mean you are a great off spin bowler who is safe from being dropped. Just because you have taken a five wicket haul and scored a half century does not make you an all rounder. Just because you average 40 with the bat doesn’t mean the five catches you drop and the two stumpings you miss and the byes you fumble can be overlooked and have you chosen as the team wicket keeper. An opening batsman in Tests should not be caught behind in the first over slashing at a ball six feet wide of the off stump. If you can’t pay a forward defensive shot and a backward defensive shot you can’t play Test cricket.
It’s not just Test cricket – in all forms of the game we are spiralling, and that is because we don’t play our best team all of the time. Rotation doesn’t work. Resting players doesn’t work. It’s time to pick our best team all of the time, with less changes between players and formats. Obviously as Chairman of Selectors I can’t dictate the program, but I will certainly be airing my views on what should be done about it.

It is time to identify the right players now – the ones who have the talent, but also the constitution for the fight, the determination to succeed, the ability to adapt – and stick with them. Build them up, and give them their opportunity. Losing to Sri Lanka was disappointing, being completely outplayed by South Africa is becoming a similar story in Australia, but with major Test series coming up against Pakistan, India and then England, we need to use what little time we have and get our players in order.

In essence, I’m your man. Choose me now, and I can assure you that I will take on the difficult, mind numbing and crushingly dreadful job of touring the country and watching cricket at first class and international level from the horribly comfortable private boxes serving only gourmet pies and beer, suffering while being torn away from my wife and children on business class flights around the country and the world, in order to provide Australia with the right team to once again dominate the game. I am willing to sacrifice myself for this.

Or, ignore my application again. Of course, if you do, I will be chasing your job in a few short months.

Yours in Cricket,
Bill Peters
Cricket Tragic and Chairman of Selectors Elect.

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