Warner named vice-captain of Australia

David Warner’s strides on and off the field have been recognised with the vice-captaincy of the national cricket side.

Cricket Australia’s nine-person board met on Friday, confirming the appointments of new captain Steve Smith and vice-captain Warner.

The NSW batsmen will lead both the Test and ODI sides, with Aaron Finch retaining the Twenty20 captaincy.

Warner has a lengthy rap sheet, most notably banished for two Ashes Tests in 2013 after a bar-room stoush with Joe Root.

However, the 28-year-old has been far more settled on and off the pitch since meeting Candice Falzon and becoming a father.

“David has matured and developed into an important senior figure in the Australian team. He has come a long way,” chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said.

“He had valuable experience captaining the Sunrisers in the IPL earlier this year and we are confident he will provide strong support to Steve.

“We believe that he will respond well to the added responsibility of leadership.”

Smith was always going to replace outgoing skipper Michael Clarke, who will retire after the fifth Ashes Test that starts on Thursday.

The 26-year-old had already become the country’s 45th Test captain last summer, when Clarke missed three Tests due to hamstring surgery.

“He has big shoes to fill but everything about him suggests he is the right man for the job,” Marsh said.

“At 26, he is a fine young man with extraordinary talent, excellent leadership qualities and a terrific temperament.

“He is highly regarded by the selectors and we congratulate him.

“He should be incredibly proud.”

Warner’s ascension was less straightforward.

The pugnacious opener’s most recent misdeed came in January, when CA boss James Sutherland publicly warned Warner “to stop looking for trouble”.

Warner had demanded India batsman Rohit Sharma “speak English” in a heated confrontation during an ODI at the MCG.

“There’s been a little bit of a hiccup with the Rohit Sharma stuff but at the end of the day that was on the field,” Warner said earlier this week.

“I’ve learnt to bite my tongue a little bit.”

Given the long-held view that bowlers should not be overburdened with a leadership role, there were no other candidates for the selection panel to recommend.

Presuming Chris Rogers retires, Smith and Warner are the only two batsmen assured of selection for the Test tour of Bangladesh in October.

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