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Tim Paine resigns as Australia’s Test cricket captain over ‘private’ text messages sent to colleague | Australia cricket team


Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine has stepped down from his role on the eve of the Ashes series after a historic Cricket Australia investigation into text messages sent to a colleague surfaced.

Paine made the decision to resign – just weeks out from the start of the series against England – after it became clear to him that details of the incident in 2017 were about to be made public.

He said the CA investigation had exonerated him but that he “deeply” regretted his actions at the time and still to this day.

CA accepted Paine’s decision to stand down, effective immediately, and the national selection panel will now have to begin the process of identifying and appointing a new captain to lead the side before the first Test in Brisbane on 8 December.

Paine said it was a difficult decision to make, but “the right one for me, my family, and cricket”.

“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,” he said. “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 to 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.”

Paine had been in the role – termed by some as Australia’s second highest-profile job after the nation’s prime minister – since March 2018.

He took the job from Steve Smith in the wake of the ball tampering affair and was seen as a steady pair of hands to guide Australian cricket through one of its most turbulent times.

“While the board acknowledges an investigation cleared Tim of any breach of the code of conduct regarding this matter some years ago, we respect his decision,” CA chair Richard Freudenstein said. “CA does not condone this type of language or behaviour.”

Despite standing down, the wicketkeeper-batsman will still make himself available for selection over the summer.



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