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Australia's Test cricket captain promises respectful brand of aggression

Tim Paine was appointed captain of Australia's Test cricket side after Steve Smith was banned for his role in a ball tampering plot in South Africa.
Tim Paine was appointed captain of Australia's Test cricket side after Steve Smith was banned for his role in a ball tampering plot in South Africa. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Australia's Test cricket captain Tim Paine pledged on Thursday to launch an era of what he called respectful cricket in an attempt to rebuild public trust after the ball-tampering scandal.

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The newly appointed leader said the aftermath of the cheating in South Africa was greater than players had anticipated and promised a different style of cricket.

"We can rewrite the way we play a little bit," the 33-year-old said in Hobart. "The main thing for us is to bring the fans back to Australian cricket and make sure they like the way we are going about it.

"We need to make sure they want to come and watch and be proud of the Australian cricket team."

The cackhanded attempt to disfigure the match ball during the third Test in Cape Town against South Africa last month stunned the sport and prompted reviews into the culture within Australian cricket.

The then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy, David Warner, were both banned from international and domestic cricket for a year while Cameron Bancroft was exiled for nine months for their roles in the shenanigans. The troika have apologised for their conduct.

Paine said all three would be welcomed back to the national side. If they return, he added, they would encounter a changed environment.

"You have to be as competitive as you possibly can be when you play international cricket. But we just have to look at different ways of doing that. We have to find more respectful ways of putting opposition teams under the pump."

Cricket Australia (CA), which governs the sport in Australia, announced it would hold a meeting on Friday to discuss who will replace head coach Darren Lehmann. The 48-year-old resigned after the fourth Test against South Africa despite being cleared of any wrongdoing in the ball-tampering scandal.

"The process to be undertaken for the appointment of a new Australian men's head coach will be discussed and agreed at the CA board meeting this Friday," a spokesperson said in a statement. "No appointment has been made and nor will any candidate be put to the board for ratification on Friday."

 

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