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Retiring Rod Marsh to leave on his terms

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016 Rob Forsaith and Andrew Drummond

Now is not the time for Cricket Australia to push retiring chairman of selectors Rod Marsh out the door, senior management says, with chief James Sutherland citing a need for "steady hands on the wheel".

Marsh has already announced he will leave the key post next year, with a four-Test tour of India set to be the 69-year-old's final assignment, when fellow selectors' contracts are also due for renewal.

But with Australia in a grim predicament in Hobart on the back of a four-Test losing streak there has been speculation the legendary keeper should step down now.

"No we haven't considered anything along those lines," Sutherland told ABC Radio.

"The selection panel clearly have got their job to do and it's challenging times.

"They run independently of management and the board.

"We respect that, and we also respect the fact it's difficult when players and the team aren't performing as well and there are 22 million selectors out there who have different views.

"We're all impatient for success ... it needs to be steady hands on the wheel but that's not to say there isn't that urgency about wanting to fight back."

Despite news of Marsh's retirement being made public only weeks ago, his move has been known in-house for some time, team performance manager Pat Howard told reporters.

"It's important to note that Rod and I had that discussion well before the Sri Lanka tour," he said.

"Whilst it was well known to us, it's been long known."

While there have not yet been moves to find a replacement for Marsh, Howard said selectors' faces on tour are likely to keep changing.

"(Selectors) Trevor Hohns and Mark Waugh will go on and their contracts are due up at the same time as well, so they may not be staying either," Howard added.

"I appreciate the pressure comes on Rod, he knows that this comes with the role, but there are people in that situation all the time and every time you say someone is not going to stay and you exit them straight away it doesn't respect the work that they are doing at the time."

Australian skipper Steve Smith, who finished the first innings unbeaten on 48, got a nod of admiration from both Sutherland and Howard for his leadership efforts.

"We have a very high regard for Steve Smith as a person, as a leader, and obviously as a cricketer and we think ... he's got a very bright future as a leader for a long time," Sutherland said.

Howard added that others in the Australian line-up could learn from Smith's effort on day one.

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