As the Ashes approach, Cummins is named Australia’s Test captain.

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As the Ashes approach, Cummins is named Australia’s Test captain.

After Tim Paine resigned last week, just before of the Ashes, Australia chose paceman Pat Cummins as their Test cricket captain and Steve Smith as vice-captain on Friday.

In a statement, Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley said, “Pat is an excellent player and leader who has won enormous respect from his colleagues and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field.”

Cummins becomes Australia’s 47th Test captain, while Smith returns to a major leadership role after being forced to step down as skipper due to his role in the “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering controversy in 2018.

“I am honoured to accept this responsibility ahead of what will be a monumental Ashes season,” Cummins, 28, said in a statement released by Cricket Australia, with the first Test against old rivals England set to begin on December 8.

“I’m hoping to provide the same kind of leadership that Tim (Paine) has provided over the last five years.”

“We are a strong and tightly knit bunch, with Steve and I as captains, a number of very veteran players in this squad, and some terrific young talent coming through.”

Paine announced earlier this week that he would retire from all forms of cricket for the “foreseeable future.”

The Tasmanian wicketkeeper resigned as Test captain a week ago after an alleged sexually explicit text message interaction with a female colleague in 2017.

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