Sydney: Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins has revealed that Cricket Australia had forced him into ‘confession’ before handing him the job of leading the side for the Ashes series beginning at the Gabba on December 8.
The pace bowling stalwart was appointed skipper of the Australian Test team after Tim Paine voluntarily stepped down from the post following a sexting scandal involving a former Cricket Tasmania staffer. Paine has since taken an indefinite break from cricket.
Cummins, who was appointed Australia’s 47th Test captain, becoming the first fast bowler to lead the side since Ray Lindwall 65 years ago, was reportedly asked to “divulge any secrets he had before being appointed skipper”, news.com.au reported on Sunday.
Australian cricket has been ravaged by two major scandals in recent years, the first involving former skipper Steve Smith during the tour of South Africa in 2018 and now the sexting scandal involving Paine.
Cummins when asked during an interview with ABC sport presenter Corbin Middlemas whether the Cricket Australia (CA) panel asked him “anything like a confession” before being appointed skipper, replied, “Yeah, there were a couple of questions. I won’t go into detail. It was a really good open discussion. We talked about a lot of different things. So we both left it feeling really comfortable.”
A five-member selection panel comprising of CA chief selector George Bailey, selector Tony Dodemaide, CA board member Mel Jones, CEO Nick Hockley and chairman Richard Freudenstein selected Cummins for the top job.
Cummins also allayed fears that lack of red-ball experience this year would affect the team’s chances in the Ashes series. Several top Australian cricketers including Cummins himself, besides Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, David Warner and Steve Smith, haven’t had much competitive red-ball exposure for more than six months, either internationally or in First-class cricket due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Cummins said that with the success in the ICC T20 World Cup, the squad was ready for the summer ahead.
“(We’ve had) a really good hitout,” Cummins said after Saturday’s first training session as skipper. “We were able to simulate match intensity really well. We had a big bowl, us bowlers, two big spells. If the Test match was in the next couple of days, we’d be ready to go.”