Prime Minister's XI v Sri Lanka 2019
Siddle, Christian to co-captain PM's XI
The Prime Minister's XI will have co-captains for the first time with Test workhorse Peter Siddle and Indigenous cricket captain Dan Christian taking the reins
19 September 2019, 10:41 AM AEST
Peter Siddle and Dan Christian will co-captain the Prime Minister's XI in a Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka in Canberra next month, Cricket Australia announced today.
Siddle, 34, is fresh from Australia's drawn Ashes Test series in the UK that saw the visitors become the first team to retain the trophy on foreign soil for nearly two decades.
And Christian, the veteran allrounder that was a key member of the Melbourne Renegades side that won last summer's KFC BBL title, is also current captain of the Australian Aboriginal Cricket Team, honouring his family links to the Wiradjuri tribe.
Siddle played the most recent of his 67 Test matches for Australia at The Oval in a defeat that saw the Ashes series drawn 2-2, and Test captain Tim Paine revealed the Victorian had bowled through a hip injury picked up on the first day.
"Peter Siddle tore a hip flexor bowling on the first morning," Paine wrote in a column for News Corp this week.
"He has copped a bit of criticism for not bowling as well as he we know he can, but the team knows just how heroic he was.
"A lot of other people wouldn't have bowled again in the match, but he pushed on because he didn't want to leave Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to do extra work. He's a warrior, Sidds, and we love him deeply for that."
Siddle's injury is understood to be not overly serious and he's expected to be available to play for Victoria next month before co-captaining the Prime Minister's XI against the touring Sri Lankans.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that while naming co-captains was a break from tradition, both players would be outstanding representatives.
"Peter and Dan have not only been outstanding cricketers over a number of years, they have also been ambassadors and leaders of the game domestically and overseas," Morrison said.
"I want to thank Peter and Dan for taking on the role of co-captains so that they can mentor the younger members of the squad who will likely be a mix of players on the cusp of selection at state or international level.
"Over the coming weeks, Peter and Dan will assist me in finalising our squad to take on Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval next month.
"After the victory over South Africa last year, I'm confident we can record consecutive victories for the first time since 2006."
Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said both players were well deserving of the honour to captain the Prime Minister's XI.
"Dan has a wealth of leadership experience at domestic level both at home and abroad while Peter has displayed exceptional leadership qualities both on and off the field throughout his career," Chappell said.
"Both epitomise the Australian team values and we are delighted to provide an opportunity for both of them to lead this team."