Pat Howard has been axed as Cricket Australia's clean-out continues.
Pat Howard has been axed as Cricket Australia's clean-out continues.

‘He’s been stealing an income for a long time’

FORMER Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has launched into departing Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard, accusing the axed official of "stealing an income".

Howard's seven-year tenure at Cricket Australia will come to an end next week, it was confirmed on Wednesday - and MacGill suggested players around the land would be rejoicing.

Criticism has been levelled at Howard throughout his time in cricket, with the former Wallaby struggling to be embraced by the insular sections of the game.

But it was also the ideas he implemented - such as a 'wellness' program which monitored the health and wellbeing of players, and was reportedly used as a selection guide - which put MacGill off-side.

Pat Howard’s seven-year tenure at Cricket Australia has been turbulent. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN
Pat Howard’s seven-year tenure at Cricket Australia has been turbulent. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

"I just wish we'd had it a few years ago because Pat Howard's been stealing an income from Cricket Australia, from cricket, for a long, long time as far as I'm concerned," MacGill said.

"It was always a joke to me and a lot of my mates that he was high performance manager when his performance over pretty much his entire career with Cricket Australia has been anything but."

Howard was also regarded as the architect of the system which restricted bowler workloads, such as limiting young bowlers to 40 balls per session in the nets.

During his reign, Australia regained the No.1 Test ranking following the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in 2013-14 and also triumphed in the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

But overall results have plummeted - including three series whitewashes Australia have suffered in Asia during his tenure, and the disastrous 'Homeworkgate' saga in India in 2013.

MacGill said Howard had too much influence at the selection table, and his wellness forms fostered an air of distrust among the players.

Got him! Stuart MacGill hasn’t missed Howard with his scathing assessment. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Got him! Stuart MacGill hasn’t missed Howard with his scathing assessment. Picture: Phil Hillyard

"It's amazing. There was a period of time, and hopefully it's done now, where Pat Howard was providing Australian selectors with a list of players that they were allowed to pick the team from," MacGill said.

"In effect there was only one Australian selector, and it was Pat Howard.

"It is absolute rubbish. If I was a player today, I can tell you how I'd be filling that app out - every single morning I'd be 100 per cent and I'd be feeling magnificent.

"There'd be absolutely no way I'd be telling the truth and that's the last thing you want from a player.

"You want them to be monitoring their wellbeing if possible, but you can't have one person and one app selecting the team.

"It's just insanity."

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