Vodafone Men's Ashes
Five-person panel to select Paine's replacement
Cricket Australia announce a five-person panel that will make a recommendation to the Board for the next captain of the men's Test team
23 November 2021, 06:00 PM AEST
Cricket Australia has confirmed that a five-person panel consisting of selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, former Australia batter and current CA board member Mel Jones, CEO Nick Hockley and chair Richard Freudenstein will help determine the identity of Australia's next Test skipper.
The National Selection Panel of coach Justin Langer, Bailey and Dodemaide has put forward a list of candidates to the panel for consideration.
After assessing the candidates, the five-person panel will take one recommendation to the CA Board for approval.
It was decided that Langer's immediate focus should remain on coaching the Test squad ahead of the start of the Vodafone Ashes next month, meaning he is not part of the five-person panel.
No timeline has been set for when a final decision will be made by the Board, but it's expected in the coming days.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favoured to be Australia's 47th captain of the Australian Men's Test team, while former skipper Steve Smith and batter Marnus Labuschagne also have leadership claims.
Handing the captaincy to Cummins, who was Paine's vice-captain, would be a break from tradition for the national men's team, which has never had a fast bowler as captain on a full-time basis.
Paceman Ray Lindwall captained for one Test in 1956 while fast bowlers Sharon Tredrea and Raelee Thompson captained Australia's women's team in Test cricket in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Adam Gilchrist, who led Australia in six Tests and was a deputy to both Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting during his career, believes Cummins will get the nod.
"I think Pat Cummins is the frontrunner there," Gilchrist said this week. "I've got no problems with him having first opportunity.
"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."
Smith's leadership ban following his role in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal expired last year, while opener David Warner remains barred from holding any leadership positions in Australian cricket.
Cummins, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Marsh have all held the role of vice-captain during Paine's three-and-a-half year stint as skipper.
Selection chief Bailey also revealed this week that he would recuse himself from a vote over Paine's international future should the wicketkeeper's place in the Test team come under question.
As well as being close friends having played for Tasmania and Australia together for 15 years, Bailey and Paine are also co-franchisees of a gym business, with the selector acknowledging the conflict of interest.
"If the panel was not in agreeance on Tim's position going forward, and it was going to come down to a vote, then I would step aside and leave that to Tony and Justin to work through," Bailey told the Cricket Etc podcast.
"They're both aware of that."
Vodafone Men's Ashes v England
Nov 23-25: England v England Lions, Brisbane
Nov 30 – Dec 3: England v England Lions, Brisbane
Dec 1-3: Australian intra-squad match, Brisbane
Dec 9-12: Australia A v England Lions, Brisbane
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium