Cummins the frontrunner to lead Australia after Paine scandal

SYDNEY: Pat Cummins formed up because the frontrunner Saturday to take over from disgraced former Australia Take a look at skipper Tim Paine, with the likes of Mark Taylor, Dennis Lillie, and Steve Waugh all singing his praises.

The 28-year-old, who has served as vice-captain in each Take a look at and white-ball codecs since 2019, is broadly seen as being in a two-way race with Steve Smith to imagine the reins after Paine’s shock departure over a sexting scandal.

He stepped down after a collection of sexually graphic textual content message exchanges with a Cricket Tasmania worker in 2017 got here to mild, regardless of being cleared by cricket authorities of any offence on the time.

Smith, who was stripped of the captain’s armband and banned for a 12 months after a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 which culminated with Paine taking on, has assist to finish a exceptional profession revival.

However Cummins seems to be the inheritor obvious, with Smith tipped to be his deputy for the upcoming house Ashes collection towards arch-rivals England.

If appointed, Cummins will develop into the primary specialist quick bowler to captain the facet since Ray Lindwall did so for a single Take a look at in 1956.

Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley stated Saturday the method to pick a brand new captain was already in place, with Paine anticipated to retire after the Ashes regardless.

“In addition to captaining functionality on the sector … values of respect and inclusion, of creating sport and Australians proud, are completely going to be on the forefront of the standards we apply,” he stated.

Former captain and Cricket Australia board director Mark Taylor stated he anticipated the governing physique would make a clear break with the previous given the circumstances during which Paine give up.

“I believe CA will most likely wish to go for somebody recent and clear. The timing will make it a extra snug determination for CA to make Pat the captain. It will likely be laborious to return after one other controversy to Steve,” he advised the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday.

“I do know Pat very properly, he’s a terrific fella,” he added. “I believe it’s more durable for a fast bowler to be captain, however by way of management he will likely be excellent as a result of he’s , stable human being.”

Quick bowling nice Lillie can also be an enormous fan, having mentored Cummins lately.

“He’s an clever man however greater than that, he’s obtained actual cricket smarts,” he advised earlier than Paine’s announcement.

Able to go

Regardless of Australia by no means earlier than opting for a quick bowler as everlasting captain, Lillie doesn’t see an issue, pointing to different groups efficiently taking place this route.

“There’s been quick bowlers who’ve captained. Imran Khan (Pakistan), Bob Willis (England)… they’re fashionable cricketers which have confirmed actually strongly {that a} quick bowler actually can captain the facet.”

Fellow Australia legend Waugh additionally has religion in Cummins however stated he would wish to lean on his deputy, significantly whereas bowling.

“I’ve all the time thought that if he’s bowling the vice-captain may set the sector to present him a psychological break,” Waugh stated. “He has good acumen, the respect of the gamers and he’s able to go.”

Whereas Cummins and Smith are on the forefront, Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head — who’re each within the Ashes squad — have additionally been vice-captain at varied phases.

Paine has solely stood down as skipper and insisted he nonetheless needs to maintain wicket towards England, however that would show controversial.

“He’s 36 years of age, he’s getting back from damage, and he’s obtained this scandal hanging over his head … there’s a number of issues towards Tim Paine now,” former nationwide selector and Take a look at star Mark Waugh advised industrial radio station 2GB.

If Paine is lower free, Alex Carey or Josh Inglis may take the gloves for the opening Take a look at in Brisbane on December 8.

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