The first instalment of Shane Warne's much-anticipated bible for the betterment of Australian cricket proposes a player-led mutiny against rotations and a ''dream team'' to run the game that includes only one survivor from the present off-field administration.
In Warne's world, national selector Rod Marsh is promoted to chairman of a panel that includes former Test batsmen Damien Martyn and Mark Waugh, Australia's most successful fast bowler, Glenn McGrath, and captain Michael Clarke.
Warne says the coach (he would replace Mickey Arthur with former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming) should be a confidant to the players instead of a selector.
Warne takes his argument against resting and rotating players a step further, calling on current players to rise up against the system led by team performance chief Pat Howard and national selector John Inverarity.
''A simple criteria is pick your best team and stick with it in all forms. Then the players get used playing together and being with one another on tour, you get to know the person, too much chopping and changing leads to insecurity, players then start to look out for themselves and over their shoulder, this breeds selfishness,'' Warne wrote in an article published on his personal website.
''It's also why rotation and resting players will never work. I believe the players should be united, take ownership of this, it's a very powerful and strong message to send to CA if the players message is 'I do not want to be rested or rotated, I want to play every game, if I don't perform drop me.' If this decision comes from the players then CA have to respect that and follow suit on selection accordingly, this will then mean someone is accountable.''
As promised, Warne's manifesto added substance to his earlier tirade on Twitter in which he targeted former rugby international Howard and described the people at the helm as ''muppets''. It also contained a predictable dig at national Twenty20 captain George Bailey (''The team should be selected first, not the captain, the captain will be chosen from the team selected'') and proposed the appointment of one of Warne's most trusted allies, Ian Chappell, to a consultant's role.
He suggests replacing Howard with former Australian captain Mark Taylor as ''boss man, cricket supremo''. ''The reason why I would choose Mark is that he has an understanding from both sides and is a wonderful communicator as well as being very approachable and respected.''
Queensland coach Darren Lehmann would serve as Fleming's assistant with the national team, with Mike Hussey or Michael Bevan as batting coach and Merv Hughes or Bruce Reid in charge of the bowlers.
''In my time Stephen was the best opposition captain we played against, and seeing what Stephen has done first hand re his coaching roles along with knowing him well personally, I believe he brings a lot to the table, a calmness, an intelligent understanding of the game and a very good cricket brain,'' Warne said of Fleming.
'''Boof' [Lehmann has] ... a good balance of old school and what the needs are of the current day player.''
Ironically, the only position Warne does not fill is that of spin coach. That topic could be broached in part two of the leg-spin champion's manifesto, which he vowed to discuss with Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland next week.
''In part 2 I will select my teams for all forms of the game, my vision, future of one-day cricket, Twenty20 and the impact on domestic cricket, grassroots cricket, spin bowling and more, so stay tuned.''
Warne has tapped into public disillusionment with selection policies that has persisted despite CA's efforts to explain them. Although most current players are believed to have accepted the logic behind resting fast bowlers at risk of breaking down, the chopping and changing of batsmen in the one-day team has caused some dressing room unrest.
One of Warne's million followers captured the disconnect between CA and the public when he tweeted: ''don't back down. u should discuss the team having its manly-ness, ruggedness and toughness removed by all the restrictions.''
- The Age
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