Appointing Steve Smith as Test vice-captain to Pat Cummins would be « awkward » according to Nine sports presenter Tony Jones.
Smith was stripped of the captaincy in 2018 after the ill-fated South African tour, which saw him suspended for 12 months and banned from holding a leadership position for a further year.
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Following Tim Paine’s resignation last Friday, Smith has emerged as the favourite for the vice-captaincy, with Cummins earmarked as the captain-in-waiting.
An announcement is expected as soon as today.
Cricket legend Shane Warne wrote in his News Corp column that appointing Smith as vice-captain would leave Cricket Australia open to « ridicule and criticism. »
« Everyone makes mistakes, we know that and we’ve all moved on from sandpaper-gate, » Warne wrote.
« But that happened under Steve Smith’s captaincy, he allowed that to happen on his watch. I think the punishment he was given was way too severe, which I said at the time. He paid a huge price for his mistake.
« But his second chance is getting to play for Australia again and in my opinion announcing him as vice-captain opens up CA for ridicule and criticism, and they should throw the code of conduct out the window.
« CA has to stand for something. »
Speaking on Nine’s Today, Jones said Smith has already paid the price for what happened in South Africa.
« It’s hard to disagree with anything Shane Warne says, » Jones said.
« How long does someone have to carry the can for something that was done so long ago?
« I think if we’re serious about getting back on track, I don’t think there would be too many Australians disappointed if Steve Smith was to take the mantle again.
« I would rather see him captain than vice-captain, I think that would just be a little awkward.
« If they’re going to have him in any leadership capacity, it should be the captaincy. »
Jones added that Cummins should still be the favourite for the captaincy, becoming the first fast-bowler to lead Australia in a Test since Ray Lindwall in 1956.
« I think it’s time for a change, I think it’s time for a real refresh and reset. I think Pat Cummins will do an outstanding job, he’s had a little bit of experience with NSW, I think he would be a very good look for Australia. »
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