Wed, May 09, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Langer picks Paine to be Aussie one-day captain

AFP, SYDNEY

New Australia coach Justin Langer yesterday named Tim Paine as one-day captain for next month’s cricket tour of England as they look to open a new era after a damaging ball-tampering scandal.

Langer, who has been entrusted with restoring Australia’s battered reputation, was widely expected to select Paine in his first major decision as coach.

The 33-year-old wicketkeeper has already been appointed Australia’s Test captain after his predecessor Steve Smith received a 12-month ban for his part in the ball-tampering affair.

The five-match one-day series in England is Australia’s first outing since the disastrous South Africa tour and the players are sure to face intense scrutiny.

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said Cricket Australia had faith in Paine’s ability to lead the 15-man squad in England, with Aaron Finch as his vice captain.

Despite Australia’s woes it has been a heady rise for Paine, who only returned to the national setup in November last year after several years on the sidelines, during which he considered retirement.

“Tim is a strong leader and will captain the side for the series, supported by Aaron,” Hohns said. “A decision on a permanent one-day captain will be made in due course.”

World champions Australia open the series against England at Lord’s in London on June 13.

Hohns said the tour would help players test themselves on English pitches ahead of next year’s World Cup in England.

“Obviously, these are the conditions we will face during the tournament, so now is a perfect chance to give these players an opportunity to press their case for selection,” he said.

Cricket Australia also named a 14-man squad for a one-off Twenty20 match in England, followed by a tri-series tournament in Zimbabwe also featuring Pakistan.

Finch was named to lead the squad, with Alex Carey as vice captain.

Meanwhile, Smith’s fellow international exiles David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are reportedly considering returning to cricket in the Northern Territory as early as July.

Warner and Bancroft received 12 and nine-month bans respectively, but the sanctions do not apply to club cricket.

Northern Territory Cricket chief executive Joel Morrison told Australian Broadcasting Corp that the pair were considering playing in the territory’s limited-overs Strike League.

“The opportunity for us is to be able to have the likes of a Bancroft or a Warner around town to be able to pass on some of their knowledge to our local cricketers would be fantastic,” Morrison said.

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