SYDNEY: Former Test batsman John Inverarity was Friday handed the task of helping revive Australia's flagging Test fortunes after chief selector Andrew Hilditch lost his job following a sweeping review.
The seven-month review was sparked by the Test team's humiliating 3-1 Ashes series defeat at home to traditional rivals England with Hilditch and head coach Tim Nielsen among high-profile casualties.
Australia, for so long Test cricket's dominant force, are currently ranked fourth in the world behind England, South Africa and India and are desperate to get back to the top of world cricket.
Hilditch, who was part-time, stood down after the Argus review into Australian cricket recommended a full-time chairman of selectors.
Inverarity, 67, was a first-class cricketer for 23 years, playing six Tests for Australia. His career has also included coaching roles with English county sides Warwickshire and Kent.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said Inverarity's coaching experience and background in school education made him an ideal candidate.
“John Inverarity has been an outstanding contributor to cricket as a captain, player, coach, selector and mentor in Australia and in England, and his insights into the game, its players and their development is without parallel,” Sutherland said.
“His achievements outside cricket as an exceptional educator of young people was a significant value-add.”
Inverarity said he had been involved in team selection for much of his playing and coaching career and enjoyed fostering young talent.
“I have had a great passion for cricket for many years and have found my involvement in the game as a player, a coach, a mentor and an observer hugely rewarding,” he said.
His first selection duties will be for the first Test against New Zealand in December.
Sutherland said the global hunt for a new head coach was also gathering pace following the appointment of former rugby union international Pat Howard as general manager for team performance earlier this month.
Both roles were recommended by the Argus review.
Former New Zealand coach Steve Rixon is widely seen as a frontrunner for the job with former South African coach Mickey Arthur and long-time Australian Test batsman Justin Langer also reportedly interested.