Ashes: Pat Cummins announced as Australia Test captain, with Steve Smith vice-capitain as Tim Paine sits out
Tim Paine had been confirmed as skipper of Australia's 15-strong squad last week before he resigned from the leadership position on November 19, admitting to "a private text exchange" with a former colleague at Cricket Tasmania; Cummins named captain following two-year run as vice-captain
Last Updated: 29/11/21 9:00am
Pat Cummins has been confirmed as the man to lead Australia in the Ashes just hours after former Test captain Tim Paine announced he was taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket following a sexting scandal.
Paine had been confirmed as skipper of Australia's 15-strong squad last week before he resigned from the leadership position on November 19, admitting to "a private text exchange" with a former colleague at Cricket Tasmania.
Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday that Cummins, 28, would move up following a two-year run as vice-captain, with 32-year-old former captain and batter Steve Smith to serve as his deputy.
- Australia's Tim Paine taking 'leave of absence' from cricket
- Ricky Ponting: Tim Paine text scandal an Ashes distraction
I feel incredibly honored, privileged and excited to be named the Australian Mens Test Captain.— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) November 26, 2021
I’ll be trying my best and can’t wait to get started at the Gabba in a couple of weeks!
Also very lucky to have my man @steve_smith49 alongside me as VC. #ashes pic.twitter.com/iVPurweQP7
CA chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement Cummins was an "outstanding player and leader".
"He has earned enormous respect from his team-mates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field," Hockley added.
"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 said: "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 became eligible to hold a leadership position or captain Australia again in March 2020 following the conclusion of a two-year ban prompted by the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
One week after stepping down as Test captain, Paine on Friday announced via a statement from his state association he was taking "a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future".
In response, Hockley said CA recognised it was an "incredibly difficult time for Tim and his family and are committed to supporting them".
England will take on Australia in the first Test at the Gabba from December 8 and the fifth and final Test is scheduled for Perth's Optus Stadium from January 14.