Mark Waugh’s last assignments as national selector will be the tours of England and Zimbabwe later this year. © Getty Images

Mark Waugh’s last assignments as national selector will be the tours of England and Zimbabwe later this year. © Getty Images

Mark Waugh on Tuesday (May 15) conveyed his decision to step down as an Australian national selector once his contract concludes on August 31 this year.

The former Australian great joined the panel in 2014, and will bring his role to a close following the tours of England and Zimbabwe later this year. Australia will play five One-Day Internationals and one T20 International in England in June, before a triangular T20I series in Zimbabwe.

The decision comes in the wake of Waugh signing a full-time commentary role with Fox Sports. Waugh will join Mike Hussey, the former Aussie batsman, as well as Melanie Jones, the former Australian women’s star, on the revamped Fox cricket commentary team. They will work alongside Allan Border, the former national skipper, and Brendon Julian, the retired Aussie quick. 

Waugh had specifically been tasked in 2017 with focusing on the T20I format, alongside the national head coach.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the National Selection Panel, and it has been a tough decision to choose not to continue in my role,” said Waugh, who has played 128 Tests and 244 ODIs for Australia, in a Cricket Australia release. 

“Working alongside my fellow selectors, the coaching staff and players over the past four years has been a privilege, and I’m proud of the achievements of the Australian teams across all formats in this time.

“I firmly believe Australian cricket has a wealth of talented players in its ranks right now, and I look forward to watching the team continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come,” he said.  

Only earlier this month, Cricket Australia appointed Justin Langer as coach after Darren Lehmann stepped aside after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Tim Paine was also given the national captaincy, with Steven Smith and David Warner, the previous captain and vice-captain respectively,u suspended for 12 months for their role in the saga.

“We thank Mark for his service over the past four years and the great job he has done as a National Selector,” said Pat Howard, CA’s executive general manager (team performance).

“Being a selector is not an easy task, and Mark has made an important contribution to Australia’s on-field success alongside his fellow panel members. Mark was specifically brought in for white ball cricket and he should be very pleased with his contribution to the 2015 World Cup victory.” 

CA have also set to launch a cultural review, which was put in place after the events of the Test series against South Africa which was marred by several unsavoury clashes before the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town.