Australian Test great Matthew Hayden has said that he believed that the decision to appoint Michael Clarke as captain from a young age instead of grooming a group of candidates contributed to a lost generation of leaders.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the absence of strong leaders was laid bare with the 'homework' fiasco in India, and in the chaotic prelude to the Ashes, which culminated with the sacking of former coach Mickey Arthur.
Urging Cricket Australia (CA) to invest heavily in the next group of potential captains, Hayden mentioned that he raised concerns about the leadership void when he was a CA director, saying that CA made a mistake in promoting Clarke as captain at the age of 21 as it failed to develop a strong, vibrant community of leaders.
Hayden, who shared Australia's most successful opening partnership with Justin Langer, also said that they had enjoyed leadership forums during his career, adding that at that time, the players were advised by keynote presenters in a number of tasks like thinking like a captain and finding great role models in the current leaders.
Stating that it would take time for coach Darren Lehmann to get players to buy into a strong team culture, Hayden further said that players need to feel secure about their spots first, adding that as the Indian fiasco brought out the poor leadership culture, the team is in urgent need of the best leadership program the game has ever seen.
The recall of the experienced, resilient Brad Haddin as vice-captain has helped plug the leadership gap in England, but CA has asked states to identify emerging leaders in an attempt to groom potential successors to Clarke, the report added.