Sydney — New Australia coach Justin Langer on Tuesday named Tim Paine as ODI captain for June’s 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 the ball-tampering affair.
The five-match ODI series in England will be the Australian team’s first outing since the disastrous South African tour and the players are sure to face intense scrutiny.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said Cricket Australia (CA) had faith in Paine’s ability to lead the 15-man squad in England, with Aaron Finch as his vice-captain. It has been a heady rise for Paine, who only returned to the national set-up in November 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 will open the series against England at Lord’s on June 13.
Hohns said the tour would help players test themselves on English pitches ahead of the 2019 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.
CA 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 will lead the squad, with Alex Carey as vice-captain.
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 Joel Morrison told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the pair were considering playing in the Territory’s limited-overs Strike League.
"The opportunity for us 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," he told the broadcaster.
Australia ODI: Tim Paine (capt), Aaron Finch (vice-capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20: Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey (vice-capt), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth