Smith one of the candidates 'available' to take over as Australia's Test captain

Image Source: ANI

Melbourne [Australia], November 20 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday informed that star batter Steve Smith is available for the role of Test captaincy following Tim Paine’s resignation.

According to cricket.com.au, Paine announced his resignation as Test skipper following revelations of a ‘sexting’ incident with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Many cricket pundits on Friday anticipated that vice-captain Pat Cummins might become Australia’s next Test skipper, but Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Richard Freudenstein didn’t rule out the possibility of Smith leading the side.

“There are a range of candidates who are available for that role, Steve Smith is one of the candidates that is available for the role,” said Freudenstein in a virtual press conference conducted by Cricket Australia (CA) following Paine’s resignation.

In March this year, Smith for the first time had openly talked about wanting to lead Australia again. The 31-year-old cricketer was removed as the skipper following his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March 2018.

Smith’s captaincy ban expired last year, however, he was not handed back the leadership post as Paine continued to lead the side in the longest format of the game.

Freudenstein pointed out that he cannot speak about the what happened in 2018 but if it would have had happened in 2021, Cricket Australia would not have made the same decision.

“I felt it necessary to share Cricket Australia’s position on this matter. Neither of us, Nick Hockley or myself, can speak directly to the decision-making process in 2018.” Freudenstein said.

“This includes being able to provide any further insights around how the original judgement was made, that Tim’s behaviour did not breach the code of conduct and that it did not warrant any further disciplinary action.

“Once again, while I cannot speak about the original decision-making in 2018, what I can say is that faced with the same circumstances, and with the benefit of all relevant information about this matter, Cricket Australia would not make the same decisions today,” he added. (ANI)

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