Fast bowler Pat Cummins has been officially named as the captain of the Australian team in the longest format of the game.
Cummins is Australia’s 47th test captain while Steve Smith has been made his deputy ahead of the Ashes which is scheduled to start from December 8 in Brisbane. Pat Cummins is the first fast bowler to lead the Australian team on a permanent basis. He is also the first bowler since Richie Benaud to lead the nation.
Pat Cummins has been the vice-captain of the team for more than two years now. The 28-year-old took over the duties from wicket-keeper batsmen Tim Paine stepped down as the captain of the test team a week ago. Paine stepped down after revelations of a scandal involving the sending of inappropriate texts to a female co-worker in 2017.
“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.”
The decision was taken after an interview process took place with a five-member panel. Selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, CA Board member and former Australia player Mel Jones, interim chair Richard Freudenstein and CEO Nick Hockley were a member of the panel.
The decision to bring back former skipper Steve Smith into the leadership role is a big one made by Cricket Australia. Smith was banned from holding any leadership role after the Cape Town ball tampering scandal took place in 2018. David Warner who was his deputy at that time was banned for life from any leadership role.
“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.