Pat Cummins replaces Aaron Finch as Australia's ODI skipper; Cricket Australia hint at revoking life ban on David Warner's captaincy.
Cricket Australia (CA) recently named fast bowler Pat Cummins as the new ODI skipper of the Australian team. He replaces former skipper and opening batter Aaron Finch who announced his retirement from the format just after the completion of the team’s recent ODI series against New Zealand.
The pacer will now take over the reins in ODI cricket to go along with being the skipper in Test matches for Australia. Cummins will now be the man to lead the men in yellow in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 though it is not certain that he will play each and every ODI game between now and the quintessential event due to his commitments with the Test team.
Despite that fact, Cummins has been picked ahead of the likes of senior players like Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, vice-captain Alex Carey among others. This will make the 29-year-old star pacer the 27th ODI captain for Australia. Pat Cummins has taken 119 wickets from 73 games since he made his ODI debut in the year 2011.
Cummins’ appointment as skipper a ‘no brainer’
Chairman of selectors George Bailey called the appointment of Pat Cummins, a “no brainer”, as there were not many options available to lead the ODI team considering the current composition of the team. There was an option of going to Alex Carey who led the side in West Indies and David Warner whose CA ban on captaincy was overturned but the board didn’t want three different national captains and wanted to limit it to just two.
Bailey also mentioned that with Cummins likely to be rested to manage workload, he will be supported by a number of leaders in the group rather than a designated vice-captain. This means there is a possibility of multiple captains leading the side if Cummins is rested.
"We've got 14 games until that World Cup, and we think Pat's the perfect person to lead this group. I think we've been really clear, not just with Pat but all our multi-format players that we will continue to manage them as best we can, across all formats. [We're] very clear on prioritising key series,” Bailey said in a CA media release.
Australia’s next assignment in ODI format will be the home series against England which starts just three days post ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, in November. So, it is likely that Pat Cummins who is an all-format player will take a break from this series if Australia do go on to reach the final of the World Cup.
"Just because you're captain, it doesn't mean you have to play every single one of these ODIs. We've still got potentially 15 Test matches before the next World Cup so, I think the confidence looking around the group knowing we've got lots of strong leaders there that even if I'm captain and I'm not there, I don't have to worry about it at all," Australia’s new ODI captain said.
CA hints at revoking life ban on Warner’s captaincy prospects; no decision yet
Another topic that was discussed during the CA AGM meeting was the board’s stance on David Warner’s lifetime leadership ban. The opener was barred from being in the captaincy role in any form of Australian cricket after the infamous Sandpaper Gate scandal in 2018.
The opener has long hoped that his appeal be cleared to have that ban overturned, but the current rules of CA suggest that a player sanction can’t be reviewed. But now with CA proposing a change to its code of conduct, Warner’s appeal against the ban might be granted.
Chairman Lachlan Henderson said, "The view within Cricket Australia is that David is doing particularly well on the field and making a great contribution off the field."
With that being said, Aaron Finch’s long-term opening partner could very well be one of the options to fill in as Cummins’ replacement if the latter does take rest. It is to be noted that star batter Steven Smith, who was suspended from Australia’s leadership role for two years for the same incident, led the side in the absence of Pat Cummins in the 2nd Ashes Test match earlier this year.
However, a decision is still awaited on the matter regarding life ban on David Warner’s captaincy prospects.