Appointing Steve Smith as Australia Test captain will only add to the circus- Ian Healy

Tim Paine stepped down as Australia Test captain due to sexting scandal.

Not ideal to re-appoint Steve Smith as Australia captain after Tim Paine's scandal | Getty Images

Former Australian wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy believes that reinstating Steve Smith as the next Test captain of Australia after Tim Paine's exit following the sexting scandal will only "add to the circus".

Last week, Paine stepped down as Australia's Test captain after his involvement in a sexting scandal became public. He had sent an unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in Tasmania in 2017, months before he was made captain.

Following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, Paine took over as captain, after Smith was stripped off from captaincy and now the latter has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the Test captaincy.

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Notably, Smith was also involved in the huge Sandpaper-gate scandal in South Africa, which rocked Australian cricket in 2018, and he, along with his deputy, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft, was banned from cricket for different periods.

Smith also served a 2-year ban from leadership in the game.

With Smith now eligible for the captaincy, Healy stated that he had no objections to Smith becoming Australia's Test captain again because he had paid a "heavy price" for being a lazy skipper, but he was not in favor of him being reinstated, especially after Paine's scandal.

Healy told Sportsday:We’re going to add to the circus by Steve Smith being appointed after that (the Tim Paine episode). I’ve got no problems with Steve Smith captaining Australia again; he paid a heavy price for just being a lazy captain, that’s about all he was guilty of.”

He further added, “Too many people around there think he was actually in there scratching that ball in South Africa, but if they’ve forgotten what happened he just wasn’t aware enough as captain to pull the reigns in and stop what was going to happen.

That was his (Smith) crime, and he got a year (ban) for it. So, I’ve got no problems, but I don’t think he needs to come in as vice-captain or straight after Paine’s indiscretion.”

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Healy also opined that Paine’s resignation from captaincy was his personal choice, and he could have stayed, as the Cricket Australia and coach wanted him to stay.

He signed off by saying, “Paine resigned of his own (choice), Cricket Australia said he could stay and the coach wanted him to stay on, (but) he just didn’t want to be a distraction in this circus.”

(With IANS Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 23 Nov, 2021

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