Australia unveils two vice-captains to serve as deputy to Tim Paine

For the first time in their history, Australia has unveiled two new vice-captains for the Test side, with fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh appointed to the coveted position after a tedious selection process; Cricket Australia announced on Thursday.

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In a first for one of Cricket’s flagship side, Cricket Australia announced that the dual deputies to the incumbent Tim Paine have been chosen following an application system adopted by Justin Langer from the AFL that featured a player vote.

“I’m very proud,” Marsh was quoted by cricket.com.au in Dubai after his appointment was confirmed to the Test squad.

“We’ve been through this process over the last couple of months as a team and to have my teammates vote me in and myself into this position, I’m very proud. Hopefully I’ll do the job justice.” 

Hazlewood becomes just the third specialist fast bowler to hold the coveted vice-captain position after Rodney Hogg and Jeff Thomson, who held the post briefly during the 1970s and ’80s respectively.

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It is something different for cricket but that’s the world these days, we live in a modern world,” said Marsh. 

“Josh and I will do everything we can to make Tim Paine’s life easier, that’s how I see the vice-captaincy role. Like every other person in this team, we’ll lead to the best of our ability in Australian cricket.”

After an unprecedented poll from the playing group, Hazlewood and Marsh were selected to present to a panel consisting of coach Langer, former Test skipper in Greg Chappell and  Mark Taylor, CA Board chairman David Peever, high-performance boss Pat Howard, selection chief Trevor Hohns and psychologist Dr Michael Lloyd.

“It was not a process designed to find the next Australian Test Captain, but to find two vice-captains who will support and help drive the team’s goals and objectives,” Hohns explained.

Hohns praised the leadership qualities that Hazlewood and Marsh bring to the table but stressed the process shouldn’t be taken as a suggestion wither player is viewed as Paine’s successor.

“Justin Langer and Tim Paine have a clear vision for the Test team, and Josh and Mitch are invested and ready to support the coach and captain on this journey.

“Our vision is to create great cricketers and great people, and we are extremely fortunate to have such terrific young men charged with the responsibility of upholding the high standards and values we and Australian cricket fans expect of their Test team,” added Hohns.

Marsh, will, however, will act as a sole vice-captain to Tim Paine in Australia’s first Test assignment since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal against Pakistan next month, with Josh Hazlewood missing out due to injury.

Australia Test squad for the tour of the UAE:-

Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc

Sep 29 – Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai

Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

Oct 16-20: Second Test, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi