Pat Cummins : Tim Paine Still Well Respected Despite Scandal
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Pat Cummins: Tim Paine Still Well Respected Despite Scandal

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Pat Cummins, the newly appointed Test skipper believes Tim Paine’s decision to relinquish the captaincy is a credit to his leadership skills. Tim Paine stepped down as captain last week in the wake of a highly publicized sexting scandal in 2017-2018, that emerged and announced on Friday that he would take no part in the Ashes 2021/22.

Pat Cummins, who had served as Australia’s vice-captain since 2019, said he had spoken to Tim Paine on the morning he has been crowned his successor.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Pat Cummins Spoke To Tim Paine And The Former Skipper Said He Didn’t Want The Scandal To Cause Distraction

Tim Paine, the former Australia Test skipper has taken a “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” following his resignation as captain for the side ahead of the Ashes 2021/22. Tim Paine had announced his resignation last week following a ‘sexting scandal’ with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Cricket Tasmania on Friday released a statement on Tim Paine’s absence from the Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia, stating his indefinite break from cricket.

“When I spoke to (Paine) this morning, he wanted to make it really clear that part of his decision of taking a break was that he didn’t want (the sexting scandal) to be a distraction,” Cummins told reporters on Friday.

“That’s probably another tick for his leadership and how highly he thinks of the team.”

Pat Cummins said his time as Tim Paine’s deputy had left him in good stead to take the reins.

“He’s been incredible for me, especially since being vice-captain” Cummins said.

Tim Paine is likely to be replaced behind the stumps by either Josh Inglis or Alex Carey. Picture Eddie Safarik
Tim Paine is likely to be replaced behind the stumps by either Josh Inglis or Alex Carey. Picture Eddie Safarik

“I feel like I’m really well-equipped. I’ve had a good few years of training. I think (the transition) will be pretty seamless. There’s absolutely no issue among the boys.”

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith, who returns to a leadership role as vice-captain, said Tim Paine had lost none of the admiration of his peers.

“We really feel for Tim and his family. He’s just a really loved, well-respected leader of our team,” Cummins said.

“We love him. We hope that we see him back in the team soon and we just wish him all the best. He’s obviously going through a tough time.”

England and Australia will lock horns in the five-match Ashes, beginning December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane. Tim Paine’s mental health break means he will unavailable at least for the first game of Ashes. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine.

Steve Smith Empathized With Tim Paine

Steve Smith, who vacated the captaincy following the notorious ball-tampering saga in Cape Town, said he empathized with Tim Paine. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.

“Having been through some tough times myself, I urge him to take care of himself and be really kind to himself,” he said.

“My thoughts are with him and his family.”

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith will lead the Aussies in the Ashes from next month. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Pat Cummins and Steve Smith will lead the Aussies in the Ashes from next month. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

For Pat Cummins, the fallout from Tim Paine’s sexting scandal proved a timely reminder of the high standards to which leaders in the Test cricket team are held.

“That’s really hit home in the last few days,” he said.

“A lot of the pressure and the responsibility of being perfect is unreasonable. I think it’s too much to ask of anyone. I think you’ve got to have permission to grow.”

Pat Cummins is the first pace bowler to captain the Test side since Ray Lindwall in 1956, and while he said there would be challenges in managing the workload, he planned to learn from and turn to veteran Steve Smith and his teammates for guidance.

“There’s going to be times where I’m out in the middle, it’s a hot day, I’m in the middle of a spell and I need to turn to people for advice, for tactics, for experience,” Cummins said.

“That’s one of the main reasons why I wanted Steve to be vice-captain. I think it potentially could look different from how you’ve seen partnerships work in the past. It’s going to be a really collaborative approach.”

Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under his leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India. He had scored 1534 runs in 35 Tests averaging 32.64 with 9 fifties but is yet to score a ton although he has 150 catches and 7 stumpings besides his name.

Australia named paceman Pat Cummins as their Test cricket captain and Steve Smith as vice-captain Friday after a sexting scandal led Tim Paine to resign last week, just ahead of the Ashes. Pat Cummins becomes the 47th captain of the Australian men’s Test team while Steve Smith returns to a key leadership role, having been forced to stand down as skipper for his part in the “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018.

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