The reasons behind the appointments of Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood as joint vice-captains of the Australian Test side have already come under-fire.
Selection committee chairman Trevor Hohns praised Marsh’s “lineage” – his father Geoff played 50 Tests and 117 ODIs for Australia – as helping him to appreciate what taking on the role means.
“Given his lineage, he understands and respects the responsibility which comes with representing Australia and Australians,” Hohns said.
It’s also an implied swipe at his predecessors’ lineage.
— Russell Jackson (@rustyjacko) September 27, 2018
The comment drew comparison to a gaffe made by the ECB’s first president Giles Clarke, who described then-England captain Alastair Cook’s family as “the right sort of people”, especially in the context of the working-class background of Australia’s previous vice-captain, David Warner, who grew up in a housing commission in a suburb of Sydney.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the appointments were allegedly a reaction to previous captaincy/vice-captaincy pairings which brought tension into the dressing room, with Warner and Steve Smith being one such pairing.
“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,” Hohns said. “And this was a fundamental part of the process.
“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.”
Australia’s two-Test series against Pakistan begins on Sunday, October 7.