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Pat Cummins named as Test captain and Smith as his deputy

Pat Cummins will be the 47th Test captain for Australia as was announced today by Cricket Australia (CA). Cummins will be the first bowler to lead Australia since Richie Benaud in 1964.

Cummins served as a deputy to Tim Paine and was appointed as captain in light of the sexting scandal of the Tasmanian.

“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer,” Cummins said in a statement. “I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years.”

Former captain Steve Smith was named as the Vice-captain to Cummins. Smith lost his captaincy in disgrace after the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering saga. He was banned from cricket for a year and was given 2-year captaincy ban.

“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.”

Cummins, who hasn't captained Australia ever in any form, will lead Australia in the upcoming Ashes series at home.

“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.”

“Pat is an outstanding player and leader,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said. `"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.`”

Paine takes a break due to mental health issues

Meanwhile, Tim Paine has taken an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health reasons and is going to miss the Ashes. Paine was due to play for Tasmania in a domestic one-day match in Hobart.

Tim Paine's manager tweeted the news. "We are extremely concerned for his and [wife] Bonnie's well-being and will be making no further comment at this time."

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