CA names Smith as next Test captain

Sydney, Aug 14 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday that all-rounder Steven Smith will takeover as the next captain of the Test team following the retirement of present incumbent Michael Clarke at the end of the ongoing Ashes series.

Smith, who was also named Australia’s one-day international (ODI) skipper last Wednesday, will have opening batsman David Warner as his deputy in the Test and ODI arena.

According to a CA release, the appointment was recommended by the national selection panel and was endorsed at the CA’s monthly board meeting on Friday.

The 26-year-old Smith will also take on the reins of the T20 squad for the lone twenty over game of the England tour while regular skipper Aaron Finch recovers from an injury.

National selector Rod Marsh said the appointments have been made with the aim of rebuilding the Australian team for the future.

“We have had a clear succession plan in place for the captaincy with Steve Smith gaining valuable experience leading the Australian Test team while Michael Clarke was recovering from injury last season,” Marsh said.

“When Michael made his decision to retire last week it was a very straightforward decision for us to nominate Steve as his successor.

“He has big shoes to fill but everything about him suggests he is the right man for the job. At 26, he is a fine young man with extraordinary talent, excellent leadership qualities and a terrific temperament,” he added.

“He is highly regarded by the selectors and we congratulate him on being appointed to the role on an ongoing basis. He should be incredibly proud.”

The former left-handed batsman sounded confident that Warner will prove to be an able deputy to Smith as the Australians attempt to recover from a disastrous Ashes campaign.

“We have reached a point in time where we’ve had to look at our leadership positions again with an eye to the future,” Marsh said. “David has matured and developed into an important senior figure in the Australian team. He has come a long way.”

“He had valuable experience captaining the Sunrisers in the IPL earlier this year and we are confident he will provide strong support to Steve as his deputy,” he added.

“We believe that he will respond well to the added responsibility of leadership.”

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