Batting mainstay Steve Smith’s reappointment as Australia’s Test captain is far from certain as the sport’s governing body in the country feels there are some “great young leaders” coming through the system.
Smith was removed from captaincy due to his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, with Cricket Australia (CA) appointing Tim Paine to the top job. However, there have been speculations recently that Smith could be reinstated as skipper.
Asked about the board’s view, CA chairman Earl Eddings told ESPNcricinfo: “First of all we’ve got three great captains in Meg, Aaron and Tim. We’ve got some great young leaders coming through. So it’s not just about should Steve take over, it’s about what’s best overall.
“Steve’s a great young man and he was a good captain when he was there. Like any succession there’s planning in place. Have we sat down as a board specifically to discuss the next captain? No we haven’t.”
Eddings said CA has given vice-captaincy to various players over the years and will go by the selectors’ recommendation when the time comes to pick a successor to Paine.
“I think over a period of time we’ve given a range of people options to be vice-captain, Matthew Wade was already vice-captain, so we’re seeing that and it gives us an opportunity to look at the future leaders of Australian cricket,” he said.
“We’ll be guided by the recommendations of the selection panel, they always come back to our board at the right time with their recommendation, and we’ll go through it in detail when they do that.”
With Paine and Finch leading the side well in Tests and limited over cricket, CA can wait to take that call, but the governing body plans to start the process of finding a replacement for former chief executive officer Kevin Roberts next month.
“At the moment Nick Hockley is doing a fantastic job, he’s delivered a summer of cricket when at times we were thinking ‘how are we going to do this’, but he’s done that in very difficult circumstances, so he’s doing a great job and so are the rest of the team,” Eddings said.
“We’ll start a process early in the new year and we’re thinking through what we think the needs are for the next five years for a CEO.”