Warne is against Smith calls when Cummins confirmed as skipper



Pat Cummins was named Australia’s 47th Test captain on Friday, with Steve Smith injured from an incredible return to the role.

Cummins was ratified by the Cricket Australia Board after being nominated by the leadership’s selection panel. Smith, who stepped back in tears and disgrace in the wake of the sandpaper scandal, was appointed vice-captain.

The pair were the only two players interviewed, but legend Shane Warne had urged the panel to ignore Smith and go after Marnus Labuschagne instead.

“The one positive is that Pat Cummins should get the nod as Australia’s next Test captain,” Warne wrote on Friday. “It’s great to see a bowler finally get a chance.”

But Warne argued against Smith’s switch to vice-captain.

“We all love Steve Smith and are proud that he is the best test batsman in the world again,” Warne wrote.

“But he should not be Australia’s vice-captain.

“Everyone makes mistakes, we know that, and we’re all gone from the sandpaper gate. But it happened under Steve Smith’s captain, he let it happen on his watch.

“I think the punishment he received was far too severe, which I said at the time. He paid a great price for his mistake.

Pat Cummins from Australia

(Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)

“But his second chance is to get to play for Australia again, and in my opinion it opens up to advertise him as vice-captain CA for ridicule and criticism, and they should throw the code of conduct out the window.

“CA must stand for something. They made those decisions at the time – which were right in the interest of Australian cricket. So why should they go back to it now?

“In so many ways, it’s time to move on, and that includes moving on from Steve Smith as official leader.

“We have to go into the ashes now with a clean slate, not open old wounds by appointing Steve Smith vice-captain.

“Just by being on the side, Steve Smith will be a valuable asset to Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne, who should be vice-captains.

“He is a lock in the team, he has leadership ambitions, let’s see how it goes. He and Pat Cummins are surrounded by experienced players to help in such a big series. ”

Cummins becomes the first fast bowler to captain Australia since Ray Lindwall took a test in 1956.

He had received broad support for his candidacy – including from The Roars expert in cricket columnist Damien Fleming.

Cummins, 28, said in a Cricket Australia statement: “I am honored to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can give the same leadership that Tim (Paine) has given the group in the last 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 close-knit group.

“This is an unexpected privilege that I am very grateful for and very much looking forward to.”

Cummins later said his partnership with Smith “may look a little different from the outside compared to past captains,” and said they would take a “real collaborative approach.”

He insisted that he could handle the physical and mental workload.

“I very much doubt that I will rest from test cricket. I have never rested from a test cricket match before, so I doubt it will start now,” he said.

The fast one described himself as a “naturally quite calm person”.

“I’m pretty positive. I want to lean on everyone. I’m a big one to give individuals the opportunity to own their role (in the team),” he said.

“Mom and Dad were super excited, there were a few tears,” he added of his appointment.

“It’s a really special time. Everyone is really happy and proud.”

Smith added: “I’m happy to return to the management of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have been playing together for a long time so we know our respective styles well. .

“We are also good friends, as is the whole group. As a team we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other’s company. There are exciting times ahead where we focus on the ashes and beyond.

“I have been in a position for the last couple of years where I have played as a leader. Now having the opportunity to stand here alongside Patrick with a formal title, I feel very honored.”

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said: “Pat is an excellent player and manager. He has gained tremendous respect from his teammates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and performance, both on and off the pitch.

“We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who are excellent leaders themselves. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles.”

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