Australia’s test captain Paine resigns

Tim Paine resigned as captain of the Australia test just before the Ashes for a historical investigation into texts sent to a colleague.

Tearful Paine, 36, said he had sent messages to a co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 that led to an investigation for misconduct.

He said he was “exonerated” but is withdrawing because he learned that his texts were going to be publicly revealed.

The first ash test between Australia and England begins on December 8.

Cricket Australia (CA) said it accepted Paine’s resignation and will appoint a new captain, but that the goalie-batter will remain on the side to face England.

Fast pitcher Pat Cummins, the current vice-captain, is expected to take over as captain.

Tasmania’s Paine was named captain in 2018 following Steve Smith’s ban a ball handling scandal.

Paine revealed the landmark investigation at a press conference on Friday, describing his resignation as “an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family and cricket.”

He said: “Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time and I still feel it today.

“I spoke to my wife and family at the time and I am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support.

“On second thought, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain, or the community at large.”

Paine did not disclose the nature of the texts, but the CA news website called it a “sexting incident involving a former Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017.”

Cricket Tasmania said the incident occurred in November 2017. Paine made his first test appearance for Australia in seven years on November 23, 2017 against England in the first Ash Test in Brisbane.

Paine added: “At that time, the exchange was the subject of a thorough investigation by the CA Integrity Unit, in which I fully participated and participated openly.

“That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation at the same time determined that the Cricket Australia code of conduct had not been violated.”

CA President Richard Freudenstein acknowledged that Paine was acquitted of any breach, but added that the organization “does not tolerate this type of language or behavior.”

After replacing the banned Smith in March 2018, Paine said Australia must improve its “behavior” and promised to instill a “new culture.”

The ball manipulation scandal led to a review of Australian cricket, which came to light in October 2018 and condemned the culture of “winning without counting costs”, while saying that CA was partly to blame.

Cricket Tasmania said its former employee had not made her accusations against Paine until mid-2018 when she was charged with theft.

Andrew Gaggin, president of Cricket Tasmania, said in a statement that the investigation found that Paine’s “interaction” with the woman was “consensual, private, occurred on a single occasion, was between mature adults and was not repeated.”

It added that Cricket Tasmania “clearly does not condone this type of behavior” but determined that “no further action was required or required” due to the “consensual” nature of the texts.

He added that criminal charges against the former employee were still pending and he could not comment further.

Paine, who has scored nine 50s in 35 tests, underwent neck surgery in September but has previously said he is confident he will be fit for the Ashes.

Smith was expelled for a year by CA in 2018 for his involvement in the ball handling scandal, during the third test against South Africa in March of that year, and for attempting to cover up the fact that Cameron Bancroft had used sandpaper in the ball.

The batsman was also banned from captaining Australia for at least two years at the time.

In March 2020, Paine said he would “fully support” Smith if he had to return to the captaincy.

Under Paine’s captaincy, Australia held the Ashes in 2019 with a 2-2 draw, becoming the first Australian team to do so in England since 2001.

However, they were also beaten at home by India in both 2018-19 and earlier this year, with the latest series featuring Australia’s first test defeat at Gabba in Brisbane since 1988.

Paine also apologized for his behavior. in the third test drawn against India in Sydney in January, after sledding Ravichandran Ashwin and being fined 15% of his match fee for showing dissent and insulting referee Paul Wilson.

Ashes 2021-22 kicks off in Brisbane, ahead of matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

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