Sexting scandal: Paine quits Australia Test captaincy
Tim Paine (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
AUSTRALIA Test captain Tim Paine on Friday (19) stepped down from the top post saying it was an “incredibly” difficult decision but the right one for himself and his family.
Paine, a wicket-keeper-batter, took over his country’s captaincy amid the 2018 turmoil when some top cricketers like Steve Smith and David Warner were temporarily banned, led Australia in 23 Tests in which he won 11, lost eight while four ended in draw.
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According to cricket.com.au, the 36-year-old cricketer announced his resignation following revelations of a ‘sexting’ incident with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017. Paine explained his decision and said he “openly participated” in the probe conducted by the Cricket Australia Integrity Unit investigation.
“Today, I announced my decision to stand down as the captain of the Australian men’s test team. It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” cricket.com.au quoted him as saying.
“As background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague. At the time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough CA Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in and openly participated in,” Paine added.
He “deeply regretted” the incident and said he was “enormously” grateful to his wife and family for the forgiveness.
“That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time found that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today,” he said.
“I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support. We thought this incident was behind us and that I could focus entirely on the team, as I have done for the last three or four years,” the cricketer added.
The shocking incident happened ahead of the Ashes which will kick off at the Gabba, Brisbane, on December 8.
Paine, however, remains “committed” to play for Australia in the series.
“And I believe that it is the right decision for me to stand down as captain, effective immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes Series,” Paine said, adding, “I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team and look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour.”
Paine has played 35 Tests, 35 one-day internationals and 12 T20 internationals for Australia since 2009 and has scored just over 2,500 runs besides effecting 225 dismissals.