Ashes: Quick bowler Patrick Cummins named Australian test captain, Steve Smith his deputy following Tim Paine's resignation

  • 26/11/2021

Fast bowler Pat Cummins has been named the 47th captain of the Australia test team in place of Tim Paine, who stood down from the position last week.

Paine resigned after revelations he had been investigated and cleared over sexually explicit text messages sent to a female former colleague four years ago.

Ex-captain Steve Smith will be Cummins' deputy, Cricket Australia says.

Cummins joins an elite club with the honour of leading Australia, stepping into the role after almost two years years as vice-captain. 

The 28-year-old New South Welshman is ranked the world's No.1 test bowler and has gained worldwide respect for his ability, leadership qualities and humility over a decade as a player.

Smith returns to the leadership alongside Cummins.

Smith, who made his test debut in 2010, was removed from the captaincy in 2018 after the infamous sandpapergate incident in South Africa.

Cricket Australia says he will assume the captaincy in the event Cummins is absent for any reason.

"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," says chief executive Nick Hockley.

"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."

Cummins says; "I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer.  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."

Smith says; "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. They are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond."