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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Hilditch to head Aussie selectors
Andrew Hilditch (R) and Australia skipper Ricky Ponting
Hilditch (R) played 18 Tests for Australia between 1979 and 1985
Former Test batsman Andrew Hilditch has replaced Trevor Hohns as Australia's chairman of selectors.

Hilditch, who was appointed to the selection panel 10 years ago, played 18 Tests between 1979 and 1985.

"Naturally I'm very excited about my appointment and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

"Our objective is to maintain Australia's position at the top of world cricket by selecting the best teams as we see fit," he commented.

"Trevor has done a fantastic job in the time he has chaired the panel and I can only hope to perform to a similar level."

Hohns decided to step down to concentrate on business interests, leaving Hilditch, Merv Hughes and David Boon on the selection panel.

Cricket Australia has begun potential candidates to join them, with former wicket-keeper Steve Rixon widely tipped for the job.

Batsman Darren Lehmann has declared an interest in becoming a selector, but the fact that he is still an active player and comes from the same state as Hilditch, South Australia, may count against him.

During his playing career, Hilditch scored 1,073 Test runs at an average of 31.55, including a highest score of 119 against England at Headingley at the start of the 1985 Ashes series.

He was a compulsive hooker, a shot which brought about his downfall on several occasions.

But he is perhaps best known for a famous incident during a Test against Pakistan at Perth in 1979 when he picked up the ball at the non-striker's end and returned it to Sarfraz Nawaz.

The bowler appealed and the umpire gave Hilditch out - only the second time in Test history that a player had been dismissed for handling the ball, although there have been five more instances since then.

Hilditch's first task in his new role will be to oversee the selection of Australia's squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in India in September.

After that, he will turn his attention to the task of picking the right team to try and regain the Ashes from England. "We have confidence in Andrew as our new chairman of selectors.

"He is regarded as an excellent communicator, who has a very good rapport with the players," said Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O'Connor.




SEE ALSO
Merv joins Aussie selection panel
03 Jun 05 |  Australia
Border resigns as Aussie selector
13 Apr 05 |  Australia


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