Pat Cummins has been confirmed as Australia’s new Test captain, with Steve Smith his deputy. Both of them were interviewed by a five-person selection panel from Cricket Australia. Cummins is the first fast bowler to be a full-time skipper of the Australian team in the longest format of the game, and the first bowler to captain the national team since Richie Benaud.
Earlier, former captain Tim Paine decided to take an indefinite ‘mental health break’ from international cricket after the ‘sexting scandal’.
“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.”