Cummins, 28, who was born in Western Sydney and has played all of his First Class domestic cricket for NSW, becomes Australia’s 47th men’s Test cricket captain, and the 19th NSW-based player to be bestowed with one of the nation’s highest sporting honours.
 
The fast bowler joins an elite club with the honour of leading Australia, stepping into the role after almost two years as vice-captain. He will be the first fast bowling skipper the country has seen since Ray Lindwall did it in a one-off Test in 1956.

Cummins is ranked the world’s number one Test bowler and has gained worldwide respect for his ability, leadership qualities and humility over a decade as a player.  He marked ten years since his Test debut against South Africa this month.

Smith returns to the leadership alongside Cummins. Smith, who made his Test debut in 2010, has been an integral part of the senior playing group in with his growth as a leader and person on and off the field.

He will assume the captaincy in the event Cummins is absent for any reason.

Cummins said: “I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer.  I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years."

“With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group.

“This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to.”

Smith said: “I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well."

“We are also great friends, as is the whole group.  As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other’s company. They are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond.”
 
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon praised the appointment, suggesting Cummins is a cricketer and leader of the highest order.
 
“Cricket NSW would like to congratulate Pat Cummins on becoming Australia’s 47th Men’s Test Cricket Captain, and the 20th NSW-based player to achieve this distinction,” Germon said.
 
“Pat is a young man of distinguished character, both on and off the field and is a credit to his family, friends and those that have helped guide and develop him through his cricket career to this point. He has captained NSW at domestic level in recent times and has done a fine job.
 
“We look forward to watching Pat continue to deliver on the values of the teams he plays in, leading by example and inspiring more young girls and boys to play and love cricket.”
 
Germon also congratulated Smith on his selection as the Australian Men’s Vice-Captain.
 
“Steve’s journey has been well documented and the way in which he has personally grown over the last few years can only be admired,” he said.
 
“He is a great cricketer with an excellent tactical mind who will provide invaluable support for Pat, and he is someone we are proud to have as part of our Cricket NSW program.
 
“I have no doubt Pat and Steve will form a formidable combination and one that we can all get behind.”