Tim Paine has refused to put an expiration date on his captaincy reign as the cricket world speculates what will happen when the Aussie Test skipper retires.
Paine is 35 and talk has turned to who will lead Australia when the wicketkeeper hangs up his gloves for good. Ex-captain Michael Clarke suggested the Tasmanian might walk away after next summer’s series against India and called for limited overs skipper Aaron Finch to step down after this year’s T20 World Cup, advocating for Pat Cummins to become captain in all three formats.
But whoever Australia’s next Test captain is will have to wait for the honour because Paine hasn’t set a time frame on how long he has left in the international arena.
Stream over 50 sports live & anytime with KAYO on your TV, mobile, tablet or laptop. Just $25/month with no lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial >
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me when I’ll finish but at the moment, and I’ve said a few times, I haven’t got any date in mind, whether that’s short term or long term,” Paine said on RSN radio this morning.
“I haven’t got an end date.
“I’m absolutely loving the job I’ve got at the moment. I’m enjoying Test cricket, I’m enjoying the challenge of it, I’m enjoying the direction that our team’s going and the feeling around our group.
“As long as that continues, I’ll stick at it.”
Although at an age where most cricketers would consider retirement, Paine says missing so much time out of the game with the complications that followed a serious finger injury has kept him fresh and feeling better than your average 35-year-old elite athlete.
“I’m getting on a little bit in age but I also missed two full years with injuries so physically, I’m probably in much better shape than most 35-year-olds,” Paine said.
“I think as well, having time out of the game has put me in a better mental state so I feel fantastic.
“I’m loving doing what I’m doing. I’ll just keep doing it series by series at the moment and we’ll see what happens.”
RELATED: Clarke calls for captaincy shake-up
RELATED: Unprecedented Aussie flop gets uglier
Tim Paine can stay in the job as long as he wants but there’s no obvious candidate to replace him.Source:AAP
Paine, who was thrust unexpectedly into the captaincy when former skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned after the ball tampering scandal has been widely praised for leading Australia through its darkest chapter.
The gloveman has been instrumental in helping the national team regain the country’s trust and whoever succeeds him has a tough act to follow.
Clarke has been among those to laud Paine’s work and earlier this week gave his take on what should happen when the veteran retires.
Clarke doesn’t believe Smith should return to the captaincy, and advised him to reject the offer if it was put on the table by Cricket Australia. He also suggested Finch should resign later this year so Cummins can take on the most high-pressure job in Australian sport.
“Steve Smith is Australia’s best batsman but I don’t necessarily think he’s the right man to captain Australia,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.
“For Australian cricket right now, the position they’re in, I think they need one captain across all three formats. So again, no disrespect to Aaron Finch, he’s done a wonderful job, but at the end of this T20 World Cup in November this year, I think it could be the right time for him to stand down as well and in my opinion, Pat Cummins (should) take over the captaincy across all three formats.
“He reads the game really well — yes he’s an opening bowler but he can bat, he’s brilliant in the field, he sees the game how a captain needs to see the game.
“I’m actually going to be interested, number one, to see if Cricket Australia offer that opportunity back to Smithy when Tim Paine’s gone, and number two and most importantly, if Steve Smith would accept it,” Clarke said.
“I think there’s probably a great opportunity, if Steve is offered that chance, to actually decline it because of those reasons. Yes he’s our best player, but he can be that captain without that C beside his name.”
Smith has refused to buy into any talk of his captaincy credentials, insisting leadership isn’t on his radar.
“I’m pretty chilled to be honest,” Smith said after Australia lost to South Africa in the series-opening one-dayer on the weekend. “I’m just enjoying playing and being amongst the boys. It’s been really good.
“The guys are doing a terrific job, Finchy and Painey. I’ll support them any way I can and help the team have success and hopefully score some more runs and do my job that way.”
Source: Read Full Article