Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Cummins appointed Test skipper, Smith named deputy. Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia's 47th Test captain while Steve Smith has been named his deputy
Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia's 47th Test captain while Steve Smith has been named his deputy
Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia's 47th Test captain while Steve Smith has been named his deputy ahead of the home Ashes which starts on December 8 in Brisbane. Cummins will be the first fast bowler to captain Australia full time and also the first bowler since Richie Benaud to lead the country.
Cummins, who has been the vice-captain of Australia for almost two years, takes over the leadership duties a week after Tim Paine decided to resign as Test captain following a sexting scandal. On Friday (November 26), Paine also opted to take an indefinite break from cricket.
“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer,” Cummins said in a statement. “I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years. With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group. This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to.”
Cummins and Smith's appointments have been made after an interview process with a five-member panel, and subsequent ratification from the full board of Cricket Australia. Selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, CA Board member and former Australia player Mel Jones, interim chair Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley were part of the panel who put forward Cummins name as captain “after a rigorous assessment of candidates”. The three-member selection panel of Bailey, Dodemaide and Justin Langer, the men's team head coach, initially proposed Cummins and Smith as captaincy candidates to the five-member panel
The decision to bring back Smith in a leadership capacity is a big decision taken by Cricket Australia. Smith, the former captain, was banned from holding any leadership role in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering controversy in 2018. David Warner, who was Smith's deputy at that time, was handed a lifetime leadership ban.
“I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well. We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other's company. There are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond,” Smith said.
The decision to make Smith the vice-captain is a significant one with a pacer at the helm of Test affairs. Cummins has played in 33 out of 35 Tests since returning to active cricket in 2017 after an injury-forced break of five years.
“Pat is an outstanding player and leader. He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field. We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who themselves are superb leaders. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.