Pat Cummins to Lead Australia in Ashes
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Australia break from tradition with Cummins captaincy call

Tradition sits at the heart of just about everything in sport. Values are key and a certain way of doing things will forever be adopted by institutions that change with the times, while keeping one foot firmly planted in the past. This is not narrow-mindedness or reluctance to embrace a fresh way of thinking, it is an acceptance that if something is not broken then why fix it?

Pat Cummins to Lead Australia in Ashes
Photo: Pat Cummins to Lead Australia in Ashes

Yes, the odd tweak will need to be made here and there, but ripping up best laid plans and starting again is rarely a recipe for success. That is a philosophy that applies to all walks of life, with subtle development being the order of the day. From music to movies, golf to gaming, a path of progress is to be trodden carefully and with any calculated gambles countered by decisions that all but guarantee a positive end result.

In the world of cricket, at the very highest level, Australia have decided to start rolling the dice and taking a few risks. But they have, in many ways, been backed into that corner. A nation that boasts the best side in T20 cricket, and one determined to savor more Ashes glory against arch-rivals England, has decided that now is the time for experimentation. It is not quite a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’, but there has been a definite freshening up.

That could be considered a good thing. It is, after all, often wise to speculate in order to accumulate. Cricket has been doing that as a global collective for some time now. With an expanding market to be explored in shorter formats of the game, competitions such as The Hundred have been introduced in an effort to attract a more diverse audience and claim a slice of the pie that the IPL and Big Bash have been feasting on.

Cricket has even branched into a virtual realm with a view to staying current with this newfound viewership. Where there was once tabletop boarding gaming fun and six-hitting computer simulators, there are now online console battles and slot games, such as Cricket Star. Available at well-known online operators like, the accessibility for fans to embrace the game in increasingly innovative ways is contributing significantly to the image, viewership, and continued support of the sport.

Something different

Tried and tested is no longer the only way forward, with there more avenues than ever waiting to be explored. It is that kind of can-do attitude that has led Australia to stray slightly from the norm in a bid to ensure that the future is green and gold.

When any captaincy calls are made, logic has tended to dictate that those skipper duties are passed to the most talismanic figure in any given squad. According to , it’s usually a person that excels with bat in hand rather than ball. Wickets are, however, as important in the pursuit of victories as runs and bowlers can be unfairly overlooked.

That is no longer the case for Cricket Australia, certainly in the Test arena, with Pat Cummins inheriting the most prominent of roles from Tim Paine. He is following in illustrious footsteps, with the likes of Don Bradman, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, and Steve Smith having gone before him.

They all had one thing in common – big numbers to their name in the run-scoring department. Cummins’ appointment represents a notable change in approach, as reported at He is not the first exponent of ball over bat to get the nod, though, and neither will he be the last.

In an ever-changing world, unconventional can sometimes deliver the richest rewards. Australia are hoping that proves to be the case as they switch allegiance to a tradition that has rarely figured prominently in their thoughts.


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