Ian Healy believes that reappointing Steve Smith as Australia’s Test captain, after Tim Paine stepped down from the role, will only “add to the circus”. Paine had stepped down as the Test captain last week, after it had emerged that he'd sent a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017.
Tim Paine had stepped down from Australia's Test captaincy last Friday, after it had emerged that he had sent unsolicited explicit images of himself, along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017. That was months before he was handed over the responsibility, after the then captain Steve Smith, alongside David Warner and Cameron Bancroft had been banned following the ball-tampering episode during the Cape Town Test in March 2018.
Now, with Paine stepping down, Smith is one of the contenders to become Australia’s Test captain. As for former wicketkeeper Ian Healy, Smith’s reappointment would only “add to the circus”.
"We're going to add to the circus by Smith being appointed after that (the Tim Paine episode)," Healy told Sportsday with Satts and Jase on Tuesday.
"I've got no problems with Smith captaining Australia again; he paid a heavy price for just being a lazy captain, that's about all he was guilty of."
"Too many people around there think he was actually in there scratching that ball in South Africa, but if they've forgotten what happened he just wasn't aware enough as captain to pull the reigns in and stop what was going to happen.
"That was his (Smith) crime, and he got a year (ban) for it. So, I've got no problems, but I don't think he needs to come in as vice-captain or straight after Paine's indiscretion."
On Paine's decision to step down, Healy commented: "Paine resigned of his own (choice), Cricket Australia said he could stay and the coach wanted him to stay on, (but) he just didn't want to be a distraction in this circus."
The first Ashes 2021-22 Test will be played at The Gabba, Brisbane, from December 8.