Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann share a laugh. Photo: Michael SteeleCricket Australia chief James Sutherland has declared the controversial rotation selection policy will be shelved for the Ashes campaigns as the fallout continues after Mickey Arthur’s axing.
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In what shapes as another last-minute change to Australia’s game plan for reclaiming the urn, CA has decided to turn its back on one of the key initiatives of the regime led by high-performance manager 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 former Test greats and broadcast partner Channel Nine.

But Sutherland said it would not be used for the back-to-back Ashes series in England and Australia.

”You won’t see any of that rotation policy, as you call it, in the fashion that we have in the past,” he said on ABC radio.

Sutherland said the rotation policy was an opportunity for players in a team in transition to show selectors what they could do at international level. Selectors had adopted the policy, particularly in the one-day format, for more than a decade.

”I’ve got no doubt that [it] will continue, but for Ashes Test matches we will, day in day out, be picking our best team,” he said.

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

”We have to create cricketers, not athletes,” he has said. ”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 … If that means someone is playing all the time, so be it.”

Sutherland also admitted that 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,” he said. ”The players also need to stand up. We all do.”

CA was constantly under fire last summer over team selections. It was were criticised for unveiling a rookie pace attack for the deciding third Test against South Africa, which Australia lost heavily, surrendering its chance to claim the No.1 world ranking.

Channel Nine also slammed the rotation policy, arguing ratings would suffer if the best players were not played.

■ Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy has called for a cleanout of the Australian team coaching ranks, arguing that Arthur should not be the only staffer to be cut.

Healy said Lehmann should consider replacing batting coach Michael Di Venuto, who has only been in the job for four months, as well as bowling mentor Ali de Winter and fielding coach Steve Rixon.

”There should be some staff in that team and some players who are a bit sheepish this morning,” he said on Channel Nine.

”We have allowed a lot of people in Australian cricket in the last 18 months … to underperform, and they don’t even think that they’re in the gun – that could be the problem.”

With Chris Barrett

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

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