CRICKET AUSTRALIA's board has emphatically endorsed the architects of its contentious rotation selection policy, Pat Howard and John Inverarity, but conceded the public explanation of the policy had been flawed.
Chief selector Inverarity and Howard, the executive general manager of team performance, made a routine presentation at CA's board meeting on Monday. They were joined by Rod Marsh, the part-time selector who is also the manager of elite coaching development.
CA chairman Wally Edwards said the board he leads ''unequivocally supports the strategy and endorses the high-performance team, led by Pat Howard, as it works to implement the Argus strategy to build sustained success for Australian cricket over the long term'', noting that since its formation in late 2011 Australia had won 10 of 15 Tests and lifted its ranking from fifth to third.
Edwards also expressed satisfaction with the team's performance over the past year, which has included Test-series wins against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, a loss to South Africa and failed limited-overs campaigns in England and in Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20.
''I think we've done extremely well. We were very unlucky against South Africa, the best side in the world … we were unlucky not to at least draw that series and could've easily won it I think, so I'm very pleased with the way we're going,'' Edwards said.
''To build a new cricket side is a long-term thing. You don't do it overnight, it's not that easy. I'm confident we're on the right track.''
Edwards said he believed CA's team hierarchy was ''undoubtedly'' right to have embraced rotation, despite the adverse reaction to it from the public and former greats such as Shane Warne.
''You only have to look at elite world sport [to know] top performances can't be had by people playing every day of the week every week of the year, and with three formats of the game and very compacted world schedule of cricket now, it's just not possible for people to perform at their absolute best every day of the year,'' Edwards said.
''We also noted the importance of ensuring communication on selection and workload-management with fans and the media is as transparent and as consistent as can be.''
Edwards said it was a ''fact'' CA executives ''haven't communicated as well as we could have'' regarding team selection.
''We didn't go into this with a great media plan to sell the idea of developing more cricketers, and more cricketers being available to play for Australia. If there's a weakness in what we've done that's it,'' he said.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said he was pleased with the CA board's renewed endorsement of its implementation of the Argus review recommendations, 18 months into the planned four-year window for all of the review's goals to be achieved.
Asked about areas of weakness for the national team, Sutherland cited inconsistent top-order batting and a lack of spin-bowling depth, but was confident both would be remedied.
Sutherland also said his weekend meeting with Warne over the leg-spinner's fierce public criticism of CA had been productive. He flagged ''opportunities down the track'' for Warne to join the CA coaching panel as a mentor, as legendary paceman Dennis Lillee did last week.
''It was good to have a chat, a good robust discussion with him and clear [the air]. There's no doubt about his passion and enthusiasm for Australian cricket and the Australian cricket team to be successful,'' he said.
''Hopefully there are opportunities down the track for him to be closer to us and have an even greater involvement. We've recently announced Dennis Lillee being involved with our fast bowlers and one of the things we'd love to see is Shane having a closer link with our spin bowlers, as he has in the past.''
Sutherland also insisted CA was ''not at all fazed'' it had yet to finalise a new television rights agreement for its domestic and international matches, before the respective deals with Channel Nine and Fox Sports lapse at the end of the season.