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Pat Cummins appointed ODI captain; David Warner's leadership ban stays for now

Melbourne, Oct 18 (IANS) Australia Test skipper and pace spearhead Pat Cummins has been entrusted the task of leading the One-day International (ODI) side as well following the retirement of Aaron Finch.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday endorsed the 29-year-old Cummins, who guided Australia to a 4-0 Ashes triumph earlier this year, to become the country’s 27th ODI captain.

Ben Oliver, CA’s EGM of High Performance and National Teams, said, “We are very fortunate to have a number of high-quality leaders and senior players across all formats. The (CA) Board and selectors agree Pat (Cummins) is the ideal choice to lead the ODI team through the next period including the 2023 World Cup (in India).”

CA’s chairman of selectors George Bailey said, “Pat has done an excellent job since taking on the captaincy of the Test side and we look forward to him leading the one-day team to the 2023 World Cup in India.”

Cummins, who also led the Test side to a 1-0 triumph on the historic Pakistan tour following the Ashes triumph, said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed playing under Finchy (Aaron Finch) and have learnt an enormous amount from his leadership. They are significant shoes to fill although we are extremely fortunate to have a one-day squad with a huge amount of experience.”

Finch will continue to be Australia’s T20I skipper during the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at home, where he would be aiming to guide his side to retain the trophy.

Batting stalwart David Warner was not considered for the ODI captaincy role due to his lifetime leadership ban following the 2018 ‘sandpaper-gate’ scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa.

However, indications are the CA Board is considering a change to its code of conduct to bring Warner back into leadership roles.

Several names, including that of Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh, were considered for the ODI captaincy role before the CA Board decided to go with Cummins, according to cricket.com.au.

Cummins will become the first pace bowler to lead a men’s team in white-ball cricket, while he is the first bowler since the late spin legend Shane Warne filled in for 11 ODIs in the late nineties, according to the report.

No vice-captain has been named, but Cummins indicated he would like one to lead in some series, given that playing all three formats would likely take a toll on his mental and physical well-being.

“You’d probably need to look at it a little bit differently to perhaps in the past with so much cricket going on, if I was offered it,” Cummins had said on on Sunday, a day before he was appointed ODI skipper.

“Just playing every single game isn’t realistic. We’ve got a handful of guys that play all three formats. In a year like this, T20 becomes the focus leading to a World Cup. Next year might be different with the one-day World Cup. But with 15 Test matches in the next six months, I don’t think you can expect the captain to play every game just because he is the captain,” Cummins had said on Sunday.

–IANS

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