Pat Cummins has been officially appointed as Australia's new Test captain, after Tim Paine recently resigned from the role after the emergence of texting episode from four years ago. Steve Smith has returned to the leadership role for the first time since 2018, and has been named the vice-captain.
Tim Paine resigned from the captaincy last week after the texting scandal from which he was cleared in 2018 by the integrity investigation unit. He had sent lewd and graphically explicit images to a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.
Pat Cummins and Steve Smith were interviewed for the captaincy role, the decision to name Cummins as Australia's 47th Test captain was approved by the Cricket Australia on Thursday night, after the recommendation of a five-person panel consisting chairperson Richard Freudenstein, chief executive Nick Hockley, director Mel Jones and selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide. The right-arm pacer was honoured to accept the role.
"I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer," Cummins said. "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."
CA chief executive Nick Hockley said that Cummins and Smith are superb leaders and will be well supported in their roles.
"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. 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," Hockley said.
The only captaincy experience Cummins carries is leading the New South Wales team in the one-day format last season, although he missed the final due to the IPL 2021.
Meanwhile, Smith, who returns to a leadership position for Australia for the first time since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal in March 2018, was pleased to have been offered the vice-captaincy role..
"I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can," Smith said. "Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well."