Amid growing concerns about who will take over the leadership reins of Australia’s test squad from Tim Paine, Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia’s 47th test captain while steve smith has been named as his deputy captain ahead of the Ashes 2021-2022 series. Pat Cummins becomes the first bowler to Captain the Australian team in the last 65 years. Richie Benaud was Australia’s first fast bowler to captain the national team for full time.
Pat Cummins has served as the vice-captain of the Australia team for almost two years. He took over the leadership duties a week after Tim Paine decided to resign as test captain due to a sexting scandal. On Friday, Tim Paine also opted to take an indefinite break from all forms of cricket.
“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. With Steve Smith 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.”
Pat Cummins & Steve Smith’s appointments have been made after a complete interview process with a five-member panel following 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 a part of the panel who suggested the name of Cummins as Australia’s full-time captain after conducting a rigorous assessment of candidates. The three-member selection panel of Bailey, Dodemaide, and Justin Langer, the men’s team head coach has proposed the names of Cummins & Smith to the five-member panel for handling leadership duties of test format
The decision to back & promote Steve Smith in the leadership role is taken by cricket Australia. Smith who was initially the captain of the Australia test format 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 ban from leading the Australian team.
“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 Steve Smith the deputy of Pat Cummins is absolutely perfect as he is at the helm of Test affairs. Pat Cummins has played 33 matches out of 35 tests since returning to competitive cricket in 2017 after staying away from cricket for five years due to a serious injury.
“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.