Pat Cummins appointed Australia’s new Test captain, Steve Smith returns as deputy

  • Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins is the new Test captain of the Australian cricket team as Cricket Australia made it official on Friday. Former skipper Steve Smith has also made a formal comeback to a leadership role in Australian cricket as Pat Cummins’ deputy.
  • The last fast bowler to lead Australia at Test level was Ray Lindwall for a single match in 1956, and only as a stand-in. Cummins is Australia’s 47th test captain.
  • Cummins’ appointment comes after former full-time skipper Tim Paine sensationally stepped down from captaincy last week following revelations of a sexting incident from 2017, leaving Australia without a captain less than three weeks out from the first Ashes Test against England.
  • Smith was fired from the captaincy after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018. As well as losing the captaincy, he was banned from any leadership roles for two years.
  • “I am honored 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.”
  • The first of five Ashes tests against England begins on Dec. 8 in Brisbane.
  • “Pat is an outstanding player and leader,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said. `”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.`”
  • Tim Paine, who has been at the centre of the entire episode, will miss the Ashes series against England while on a “leave of absence” from all cricket, state body Cricket Tasmania (CT) said on Friday, a week after the wicketkeeper stepped down from the Australian captaincy over a “sexting” scandal.Paine was due to play for Tasmania in a domestic one-day match in Hobart on Friday but will be unavailable for “the foreseeable future”, the state association said in a brief statement.
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