Smith named as Australia cricket captain, Warner deputy
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cricket Australia confirmed the expected on Friday: Steve Smith will replace the retiring Michael Clarke as test captain.
Opening batsman David Warner will be Clarke’s deputy.
Clarke will retire after the fifth Ashes test which starts on Thursday at The Oval in London. England retained the Ashes 3-1 by winning the fourth test at Trent Bridge inside three days.
Smith had already become the country’s 45th test captain last year when Clarke missed three tests due to hamstring surgery and back issues.
Cricket Australia’s nine-person board met on Friday to confirm the appointments.
“We have had a clear succession plan in place for the captaincy with Steve Smith gaining valuable experience leading the Australian test team while Michael Clarke was recovering from injury last season,” national selector Rod Marsh said in a statement.
“When Michael made his decision to retire last week, it was a very straightforward decision for us to nominate Steve as his successor. He has big shoes to fill but everything about him suggests he is the right man for the job.”
Marsh said Warner had been chosen to support Smith in the test and one-day international format.
“David has matured and developed into an important senior figure in the Australian team. He has come a long way,” Marsh said. “We believe that he will respond well to the added responsibility of leadership.”