Pat Cummins confirmed as Australia’s new Test captain

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Pat Cummins was named Australia’s new male Test captain on the day it was revealed that Tim Paine’s international career may have ended a week after his withdrawal following the revelation of clear text messages.

Steven Smith returns to his first official leadership role for the national team since the tampering scandal, taking the position of assistant captain. That keeps him away from being the Test side captain again.

Interviewed for top job alongside former captain Smith, Cummins was approved by the CA board of directors Thursday night, on the recommendation of a five-person panel made up of President Richard Freudenstein, CEO Nick Hockley, director Mel Jones and selectors George. Bailey and Tony Dodemaide.

“I’m honored to accept this role before a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership, Tim.” [Paine] Cummins has given to the group over the past few years.”

“This is an unexpected privilege for which I am very grateful and looking forward to it.”

Relating to

Cummins has been appointed as a potential future captain for several years, but was overlooked for the vice captain position in 2018, then promoted to a joint role in 2019, then as sole reserve in 2020.

“Pat is an outstanding player and leader. He has received great respect from his teammates and from every corner of the game for his demeanor and achievements on and off the court,” said Hockley. Said. “We’re extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of top players who are excellent leaders. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles.”

His only professional captaining experience was with the New South Wales one-day team last season, where he captained four games that became a trophy-winning campaign despite missing the final due to the IPL.

When NSW gave him the job, he was given the opportunity to become captain of Australia at one point amid concerns that candidates for the position were not given adequate opportunities at the state level.

It will be a step into the unknown for Australian cricket that the men’s team has not been captained by a fast bowler since Ray Lindwall made his one-off in 1956.

Given the types of fast bowling, there’s a strong chance that Smith will take the helm at some point during his tenure.

“I’m happy to be back at the lead of the team, and I look forward to helping and helping Pat in any way I can,” Smith said. Said. “Pat and I have been playing together for a long time, so we know our styles well.”

Initially, the timeline for the transition from Paine to a new captain may have been set after Ashes, but events from last week meant the process was fast-forwarded, even as CA said it would be a grueling process involving significant background checks for candidates. .

An integral part of all three formats, Cummins has already been a burden, although his stamina as a fast bowler has been phenomenal since his comeback in 2017. He has missed just two of Australia’s last 35 Tests, but has only played nine. Matches since the 2019 England tour due to Covid-19 postponements.

Cummins is currently part of Australia’s T20 World Cup and Australian A troop and is still in quarantine on the Gold Coast. When they come out next week, it’ll be a short and intense introduction with the Ashes, where Cummins must quickly grasp the various demands of being captain of Australia before tossing a coin with Joe Root at the Gabba on December 8.

Pat CumminsSteven SmithAustraliaThe Ashes

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.

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