They should all go: Ian Healy

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland has declared the controversial rotation selection policy will be shelved for the upcoming Ashes campaigns as the fallout continues after Mickey Arthur’s shock axing.

In what shapes as another last-minute change to Australia’s game plan for reclaiming the urn, CA have decided to turn its back on one of the key initiatives of the regime led by cricket boss Pat Howard and chief selector John Inverarity.

The rotation policy, or “informed player management” as Inverarity called it, had been designed to prevent players, particularly fast bowlers, from injury and burnout but was despised by many, including a host of former Test greats and broadcast partner Channel Nine.

But Sutherland said it would not be used for this year’s back-to-back Ashes series.

“I think certainly looking ahead to the Ashes series in England and next summer in Australia you won’t see any of that rotation policy, as you call it, in the fashion that we have in the past,” Sutherland said on ABC radio in Melbourne.

“It’s about providing opportunities to players for a team that’s in transition so the selectors can see, give players opportunities at international level and see how they cope with that and respond.

“For well over a decade the Australian selectors have adopted a policy of doing that particularly with one-day cricket.

“I’ve got no doubt that will continue but for Ashes Test matches we will day in day out be picking our best team.”

Sutherland’s comments come just a day after Arthur was sensationally dismissed and replaced by former Test batsman Darren Lehmann, who was not a fan of the policy.

“We have to create cricketers, not athletes,” Lehmann said in an interview last October.

“We can help the players with a bit of sports science but we shouldn’t be pushing it down their throats. We have to be smart.

“I think Australia must pick its best side for each and every game it plays. Pick the best side for conditions.

“If that means someone is playing all the time, so be it.”

Sutherland also admitted Arthur had been made a “scapegoat” for the recent failures by the national team.

“To some extent people will no doubt say Mickey Arthur is a scapegoat in this and to some extent he is but realistically as head coach you need to take responsibility for the performance of the team,” Sutherland.

“The players also need to stand up. We all do.”

CA were constantly under fire last summer over their selections.

They were criticised for unveiling a rookie pace attack for the deciding third Test against South Africa, which they lost heavily and surrendered their chance to claim the No.1 world ranking.

Channel Nine also slammed CA in January when crowd favourite David Warner was rested at the same time as injured captain Michael Clarke for the start of the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

The network, which recently signed a $590 million TV deal, said last week that they would be having a bigger say in team selection, but CA denied this would be the case.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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