Pat Cummins has been appointed Australian test captain and Steve Smith his deputy as part of a leadership reshuffle following Tim Paine's controversial resignation last week.
The same day Paine took indefinite leave from the game , Cricket Australia confirmed worst secretkept from the week by naming Cummins' steady hand to lead a shocked team through an Ashes defense now in less than two weeks.
The 28-year-old has said he is honored to accept the role, which marks a major departure from tradition in that he would become the first fast bowler to lead the country since Ra y Lindwall in a one-time test in 1956. He also paid tribute to his predecessor Paine.
"I hope I can provide the same leadership that Tim has given the group over the past few years," Cummins said in a statement. “With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players on this team and some great young talents coming in, we are a strong and tight-knit group. It is an unexpected privilege for which I am very grateful and look forward to.
For Smith, it's a return to a leadership position for the first since the batter was stripped of his captain's post following the tampering-ball scandal of 2018.
" I 'm delighted to take over the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can, "said Smith. “Pat and I have been playing together for a long time, so we know each other well.
“ We are also very good friends, as is the whole band. As a team we want to play well and positively cricket and also really enjoy each other's company. These are exciting times to come as we focus on the Ashes and beyond. "
Cummins has been the favorite to take over since Paine stepped down a week ago over an SMS scandal. CA has reportedly ratified the decision at a board meeting on Thursday evening after quHe and Smith were interviewed earlier in the week.
"Pat is an exceptional player and leader, " said the CEO of CA, Nick Hockley. “He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and all corners of the game for his attitude and accomplishments, both on and off the pitch.
“ We are extremely lucky to have an experienced group of senior players. who are superb leaders themselves. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles.
The two step up efforts amid distress for Paine, whose manager on Friday announced the 36-year-old would take a "mental health break "which casts serious doubt on his availability for the Ashes and his future in international play.
"Confirm that @ tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for a break ofmental health indefinite ", posted James Henderson on Twitter. " We are extremely concerned for her and Bonnie's well-being and will not comment further at this time. "
Paine said last week that he remained available for selection Ashes, indicating his desire to end his Test career on the" highest "of an Australian home series defense, which kicks off in Brisbane on December 8.
He was called up and got into a fight in the first drop in Tasmania 's one-day match against Western Australia on Friday, giving him the chance to play five straight days of cricket after a low-key comeback via the State's second XI following neck surgery in September. But Cricket Tasmania confirms veteran wicketkeeper med -beater will be retiring from the game.
"Following discussions in the past 24 hours, Tim Paine has informed Crickand Tasmania that he will take leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future, "Cricket Tasmania said in a statement.
" La Tim's decision makes him unavailable for selection for today's Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the team will be taken by Charlie Wakim. Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer. "
CA said it 's 'was committed to supporting Paine and his family through "an incredibly difficult time ". "We respect and understand Tim's decision to take a break at this time to focus on his and his family's well-being. "Hockley said in a statement.
Speculation over Paine 's place on the Australian test team has been rife since his resignation afterrevelations that he was investigated for sending sexually explicit text messages to a former Cricket Tasmania employee four years ago. While he was cleared by the 2018 investigation, he said last Friday that he did not want the controversy to be a distraction during the Ashes. News of his omission from the test team means Alex Carey and Josh Inglis will likely fight over his place behind the stumps.
The Elder Australian captain Ricky Ponting said this week the selection of Paine would be another distraction for the team. But teammates were hoping he would stay on the team , Nathan Lyon calling him "the best goalkeeper in the world ".