SYDNEY: Under-fire chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch vowed Tuesday he would not quit his post despite Australia's Ashes drubbing against England, saying he would only go if pushed.
Following Australia's dismal 3-1 series loss to their old foe, Hilditch refused to take the blame, saying his selection panel had "done a very good job" in a comment greeted with derision among cricket fans and media.
Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin this week became the first Australian player to brand the decisions of Hilditch, who has borne the brunt of national outrage over the pummelling, as "odd" and "confusing".
But despite the flak, Hilditch, a selector since 1996, even said he wanted his contract extended when it expired in April.
"I have still got the same passion for everything I can give to Australian cricket. I only do it for one reason and that is I love Australian cricket," Hilditch told reporters.
"I'm trying to do the best job I possibly can, as is the whole selection panel.
"So it will be for someone else to tell me when I'm not required." Haddin told the Daily Telegraph: "I have to be honest, being dropped from the team when the chairman of selectors says you're the best player for the position was odd, it was very odd."
In comments published on Monday, he said he could not work out why he had been omitted from the Twenty20 matches against England in Adelaide and Melbourne this week for younger gloveman Tim Paine.
Hilditch, chairman of the selection panel since 2006, said he had told Haddin of the selectors' reasons for his T20 dumping.
"I spoke to Brad before he was omitted from the Twenty20 side and I gave him the reasons," Hilditch said.
"To the extent that someone thinks that we're not disappointed with the result, I'm disappointed those comments were taken that way," Hilditch said.
"The reality is nobody could be more disappointed than the national selection panel.
"We picked what we thought was a squad capable of winning the Ashes and it wasn't capable of winning the Ashes, so that is disappointing."