CA forms five-member panel to identity Australia’s next Test skipper

A five-member panel, which will consist of selectors George Bailey, Tony Dodemaide, former Australia batter and current CA board member Mel Jones, CEO Nick Hockley and chair Richard Freudenstein, will help to identity Australia’s next Test skipper following the stepping down of Tim Paine, Cricket Australia (CA) has announced on Tuesday.

As per a statement by CA, the National Selection Panel of coach Justin Langer, Bailey and Dodemaide has put forward a list of candidates to the panel for consideration and after assessing the candidates, the five-person panel will take one recommendation to the board for approval.

Although no timeline has been set for a final decision on next Australia skipper but it is likely to be made in the coming days.

As per repots, pacer Pat Cummins is the most favourite to be the 47th captain of the Australian Men’s Test team, while former skipper Steve Smith and batter Marnus Labuschagne are the others in fray for the top post.

Recently, former batter Adam Gilchrist had said that Cummins will be the frontrunner for the post.

“I think Pat Cummins is the frontrunner there, I’ve got no problems with him having first opportunity,” Gilchrist had said.

“They should have him if he’s keen to do it and he must be reasonably happy to take the role, given he’s vice-captain. Steve Smith could very well take the captaincy again, but Pat Cummins will be the guy they lean to now,” he had added.

Last week, Paine had stepped down from his post in the wake of an off-field scandal, where he had sent explicit text mesages to a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017.

Issuing a press conference in Hobart, Paine had said: “Today, I’m announced my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men’s test team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” Paine read out from a statement at the presser.”

“As a background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague. At the time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough CA Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in and openly participated in. That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today. I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years,” he had added.

“However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the wider community. I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and to the other party. I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport. And I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series,” he futher expressed.

Australia is next slated to face England in the five-match Ashes Test series, beginning on December 8 at The Gabba in Brisbane.

News Desk

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