Penrith’s Pat Cummins has been named the 47th captain of the Australian men’s Test cricket team. Batter and former captain Steve Smith has been named vice-captain of the team.
Fast bowler Cummins joins an elite club with the honour of leading Australia, stepping into the role after almost two years years as vice-captain.
The 28-year-old New South Welshman is ranked the world’s number one Test bowler and has gained worldwide respect for his ability, leadership qualities and humility over a decade as a player. He marked ten years since his Test debut against South Africa this month.
Smith returns to the leadership alongside Cummins. Smith, who made his Test debut in 2010, has been an integral part of the senior playing group in with his growth as a leader and person on and off the field.
He will assume the captaincy in the event Cummins is absent for any reason.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said:
“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.”
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 said: “I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well.
“We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other’s company. They are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond.”