Cape Town (South Africa), May 7 (ANI): Australia's most successful cricket coach, John Buchanan, says the selectors have risked compromising the Ashes defence by stacking the squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup with Test players.
Buchanan said the tournament had no place on the international stage.
"Given the ICC [International Cricket Council] have chosen to cash in on the excitement of Twenty20 and the potential revenues that can be made, then Australia or any country should treat it for what it is - it is a one-off tournament that will occur periodically in the world tournament schedule, and in my opinion has little to do with long-term developments of player squads, apart from the inclusion of possibly one or two under-19 or new players who are included for experience around an Australian environment," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Buchanan, as saying.
"As such, selections should be based on the best Twenty20 players of the time and be cognizant of tournaments before and after [the World Cup]," he added.
Buchanan clearly regards Hodge as one of those players but the Victorian again felt the ice-cold shoulder of the selectors when he was excluded from Australia's 15-man squad.
"He offers an all-round package that should not be overlooked by Australian selectors," Buchanan said.
"If I was a selector I would not be risking, wherever possible, key Ashes players such as Ponting, Clarke, [Michael] Hussey, Hughes, Haddin, Watson, Clark, Katich, Siddle, Johnson.
"Have them embark on a combination of rest, physical and then technical preparation for the Ashes while this tournament is under way," Buchanan said.
"Selectors should have been talking with former players to make themselves available for this particular event."
He said Matthew Hayden, Gilchrist and Warne should have been considered, along with specialists such as Shane Harwood, Cameron White, Shaun Tait and Moises Henriques. (ANI)