Alex Carey has admitted to being “disappointed” at no longer being one of Australia’s white-ball vice-captains alongside Pat Cummins, but he says the team management’s decision to relieve him of the title “sits really comfortably” with him after he has had a chance to think about it.
The official tag against Carey’s name was missing when Australia named their 21-man squad for their upcoming tour of England, with a more traditional captain/vice-captain combination in the form of Aaron Finch and Cummins listed in the sheet.
“I’ve had lots of clarity around the decision. You’re always going to be disappointed with that but I’m also really grateful and thankful for the opportunity I’ve had in the past 24 months in that role,” Carey said at a media interaction on Saturday. “I would love to still have the title next to my name but it doesn’t change anything from my end. I’m still going to rock up, hopefully with a big smile on my face, and try really hard around the group.
“It’s going back to the old model, which has worked in the past, and Pat Cummins is a fantastic leader and Aaron Finch is as well. Through the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell – there’s so many senior figures and heads around the group that we’re not reliant on just one or two people (to lead).
“The group has played a fair bit of cricket together now. It’s a great group to have in supporting Aaron. So yeah, I’ve had lots of clarity, and the decision sits really comfortably with me now.”
“If there is a title next to my name there is, and if there isn’t, then that’s fine as well. I’m really keen just to play the best cricket I can play. Whatever comes from that, comes of it”
Carey, who will turn 29 later this month, didn’t agree that the announcement had come as a setback, but agreed that he has enjoyed leadership over the years, especially with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and at South Australia when he has had the opportunity.
“You never know down the track – I really enjoyed captaining the Adelaide Strikers and the Redbacks team in the past, so hopefully there’s more of that when Travis [Head] is playing at the Australian level and if I’m there I get that opportunity,” he said. “I don’t see it as a setback, I see it as a really big opportunity just to go out there and perform my skills.”
The series in England – three ODIs first and then three T20Is – will keep Carey and the others occupied from September 4 to September 16, and Carey, along with many others, will then fly to the UAE to link up with their respective teams at the IPL. With cricket restarting after a long gap, Carey knows he has a job to do to keep his stocks up.
“Just want to play cricket for Australia and… if there is a title next to my name there is, and if there isn’t, then that’s fine as well,” he said. “I’m really keen just to play the best cricket I can play. Whatever comes from that, comes of it. I’m just excited to go on this trip, it’s been six months [since] playing cricket. So I am keen to go out there and hopefully perform really strongly for Australia and help us win games of cricket. That’s my job, when selected it is to perform. That’s the first thing in the front of my mind.”