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Rod Marsh Quits After Disastrous Start To Australia's Cricket Summer

Our cricket team has been bogged down under Marsh for a while.

16/11/2016 5:05 PM AEDT | Updated 16/11/2016 5:25 PM AEDT
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Cricket - Australia Nets - Lord?s - 14/7/15 Australia chairman of selectors Rod Marsh during nets Action Images via Reuters / Philip Brown Livepic

Finally, a scalp. The state of the national men's cricket team has been the most talked about, anguished about, lamented topic in Australia these past 24 hours, and someone, clearly, had to take a fall.

That man is Rod Marsh, chairman of the four-man national selector panel, who was due to leave anyway in mid 2017 when his contract ran out, but who has unexpectedly quit early.

"This is my own decision and no one within Cricket Australia has pressured me," Marsh said.

"Clearly it is time for some fresh thinking, just as it is for our Test team to welcome some new faces as we build for the future.

"I have always had the best interests of Australian cricket foremost in my heart, and that's why I have made this decision. I wish the captain, coach and the team all the best going forward. We will be great again."

Marsh is the first non-playing casualty of Australia's horrible start to the cricket summer, in which we have been humbled in two Tests against South Africa.

The routs in Perth and Hobart followed a disastrous One Day series in South Africa in October, in which we were not just beaten 5-0, but destroyed. Before that, we lost a Test series 3-0 in Sri Lanka, a country where we have usually won in the past.

Cricket Australia's Chairman, David Peever, thanked Marsh for his tenure and involvement in Australian cricket.

"Rod has played a pivotal role during a time of change in Australian cricket, which has seen the team hold the top positions in both Test and One-Day rankings as well as secure an ICC Cricket World Cup victory," he said.

"We understand this decision has not come easily for Rod and on behalf of Australian cricket we thank him for his leadership and the integrity and insight he brought to the role. Above all else, Rod is an outstanding person."

While the Australian team did indeed have its successes during the Rod Marsh years, Marsh will be remembered as the guy who kept picking failed Test all-rounder Mitchell Marsh (no relation) despite overwhelming evidence that he wasn't up to Test standard.

He also oversaw the selection of numerous debutants in their 30s, most of whom failed to deliver. That policy is certain to be upended now, with at least three untried 20-somethings tipped for debut baggy green caps in next week's Adelaide Test.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cricket Australia James Sutherland had his position publicly questioned for the first time, and said he would leave those sort of speculations to the board. But he did defend Marsh.

"Rod's in the job and he's doing, clearly like everyone else, they are doing the best job they can, and working very hard at it," he said.

"He will finish up, or he said that he's going to finish up in June and we'll make decisions about that and how we transition that in the future."

That was sooo six hours ago. The transition period is now. No word as yet who'll take the empty seat.

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