After a span of one and a half years, Australia chief selector Trevor Hohns has finally revealed as to how Tim Paine was named as the captain of the side after the infamous ‘Sandpaper Gate’. Then Australia skipper Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were involved in ball-tampering and after the incident was caught on camera, Smith stepped down as the captain and Australia were left without a captain for the final Test of the series.
Before the match, Tim Paine was announced as the skipper and Hohns has finally revealed what transpired in the dressing room.
“Within about five minutes we had made up our mind, and what led us to Tim was simply, we thought he was the right type of person – he was touted as a leader previously. We went through the other candidates that could possibly do it and immediately we just came up with Tim,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Hohns as saying.
“We went back to the dressing room, and it was announced that the boys David Warner and Smith would be standing down, and all I said was, ‘Tim, sorry mate, no notice, but you are the captain,” he added.
Smith, Warner and Bancroft all faced a one-year ban for their involvement in the incident. however, the trio returned to international cricket this year.
The 30-year-old Smith was remarkable in the recently concluded Ashes and he was handed the Man of the Series award.
England defeated Australia in the fifth match of Ashes by 135 runs, but despite the win, the Three Lions lost the urn to Australia. The series ended as a 2-2 draw, and as Australia had defeated England in the 2017/18 series, the team from Down Under retained the urn.
Smith had an exceptional series with the bat as he scored 774 runs, scoring the most number of runs in a series this century whereas Leach managed to scalp nine wickets in the entire series.
“We are taking serious account of people’s personalities and their past history, whether there’s been any misdemeanors or what have you. You do not really know sometimes, but you do by being around them a fair bit, you get to know their personalities etc, etc – you hear a lot of things,” Hohns said.
“That is now coming into our selection process. But we will always go for the best players. There is no doubting that, and if anyone has an issue, then it’s up to us and team management to make them understand what the expectations are,” he added.
Australia will next face Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series, slated to begin from October 27.