Pat Cummins has been confirmed as Australia's captain for the upcoming Ashes series, replacing Tim Paine following his sudden resignation last Friday.
A tearful Paine was forced to resign as Australia skipper last Friday on the eve of the Ashes after details emerged of lewd text messages he sent to a female former co-worker at Cricket Tasmania four years ago.
The resignation of Paine – who is taking an "indefinite mental health break" from the sport – threw Australia's Ashes plans up in the air with just under three weeks to go before it all kicks off against England in Brisbane at the Gabba on December 8.
But Australia have moved quickly to announce that not only will Cummins lead the bowling attack, but he will also lead the team throughout the Ashes and beyond.
Cummins has moved up following a two-year run as vice-captain, with former skipper and star batter Steve Smith serving as his deputy.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley was full of praise for the country's new Test captain on Friday – labelling him an "outstanding player and leader" in a statement confirming the news.
"He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field," Hockley said.
"We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who themselves are superb leaders. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles."
Australian fast bowler Cummins himself couldn't hide his delight at the news, releasing a statement of his own.
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."
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that Paine will be taking an absence of leave for the foreseeable future, which has scuppered Australia's Ashes plans following the sexting scandal.
"Confirming that @tdpaine36 is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break," Paine's manager James Henderson wrote in a social media post.
"We are extremely concerned for his and (wife) Bonnie's well-being and will be making no further comment at this time."
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