With less than three weeks left for the men’s Ashes, Tim Paine has announced that he is quitting the captaincy of Australia Test team.
During a tearful media conference in Hobart, Paine read a short statement with the announcement.
“Today, I’m announcing 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.”
The decision came after allegations emerged of Paine sending explicit messages to his female co-worker back in 2017.
“As a background on my decision, nearly four years ago, I was involved in a text exchange with a then-colleague,” Paine said.
“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.
“Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do Today. 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.
“However, I recently became aware that this private text exchange was going to become public. On reflection, my actions in 2017 do not meet the standard of an Australian cricket captain or the wider community.
“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused to my wife, my family, and the other party. I’m sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport.
“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.
“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful, loving and supportive family, and it breaks my heart to know how much I’ve let them down. They have always stood by me, been my most loyal fans, and I’m indebted to them for their support.”
After the approval of Cricket Australia, fast bowler Pat Cummins will become the 47th player to captain Australia in the men’s Test team.
Uncapped wicketkeepers Alex Carey and Josh Inglis are the frontrunners to replace Paine if the latter does not play in the first Test against England, starting on December 8 at the Gabba.