Smith previously captained the side for three years before his tenure was brought to an abrupt end due to his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in 2018.
After serving a one-year playing ban and a two-year leadership ban, Smith is once again eligible to lead Australia and CA chair Richard Freudenstein said the 32-year-old would be considered for the role.
“There is going to be a very thorough, and now quite quick, process,” he told reporters in a press conference alongside CA CEO Nick Hockley on Saturday.
“We are going to look at a range of criteria and there are a range of candidates who are available for that role. Steve Smith is one of the candidates that is available for that role.”
Freudenstein also revealed that CA had planned to figure out who Paine’s eventual successor would be even prior to his shock resignation this week, with the wicketkeeper set to turn 37 on the opening day of the first Test.
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“We had put in place a process of finding the next Australian captain that was going to take place over the summer in anticipation that Tim would one day retire,” he said. “We’re obviously accelerating that process.”
Hockley too refused to rule out Smith as a contender for the captaincy when asked whether CA had assessed what the response to Smith being reinstated as captain would be from various stakeholders.
“What we’ve been looking at through the process is, as well as obviously the captaining capability on the field, the kind of values, the culture and those attributes that we want to see in the next captain of the Australian men’s Test side,” he said.
“Those values of respect, inclusion, making the sport and making Australia proud are going to absolutely be at the forefront of the criteria that we apply.”
While there is no official timetable on when Cricket Australia will name Paine’s successor, Freudenstein indicated that a decision would of made with “plenty of time” prior to the first Test.
Australia and England will open the 2021-22 Ashes series on December 8, with the first Test to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.