The creation of the role is derived from the 2020 Hussey Review, and its main focus is to make Redbacks team selections within South Australia that achieve optimal team performance and player opportunities.

This specifically includes strengthening the relationship with Premier Cricket, and maximising talent identification and a clear pathway from Premier Cricket to the elite level.

Michael Hussey suggested the Independent Chair must be highly capable, respected and able to attend Premier Cricket, Second XI (if applicable) and State matches.

Pyke has a wealth of experience with high level sporting teams as a player, coach and selector, both in first-class and Premier Cricket, and in the SANFL.

A right-hand batsman and medium pacer, Pyke played 13 Sheffield Shield matches and 14 List A games, and he was a member of South Australia’s one-day cup winning side in 1986-87.

Pyke’s background as a physiotherapist gives him an added insight into the body and mind of an elite athlete.

SACA President Andrew Sinclair said:

“We identified the establishment of the Independent Chair of Selectors role as a matter of priority following the Head Coach role, and we’re extremely pleased to have James on board.

“James was an exceptional candidate and he is a widely respected figure in the cricketing world, and South Australia more broadly.

“We feel we are on the right track and our hope is for the Redbacks group to perform as well as they possibly can.”

Pyke will begin his role immediately, starting with the Redbacks’ internal two-day trial next week.