Tim Paine resigns as Australia’s Test captain weeks ahead of Ashes after it emerges that he is being investigated for sexting scandal. The bombshell announcement has thrown Australia’s Ashes defence into chaos less than three weeks out from the series opener.
Paine announced his resignation from the captaincy at a press conference in Hobart on Friday afternoon, following revelations of a ‘sexting’ incident involving a former Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017.
JUST IN: Tim Paine stands down as captain of the Australian Men’s Test team…
More to come… #Ashes
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 19, 2021
Reports claimed a Cricket Tasmania female employee was offended by “Mr Paine’s sexually explicit, unwelcome and unsolicited photograph of his genitals in addition to the graphic sexual comments.”
Paine will, however, continue to be a part of the Australian team. “It’s an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket,” Paine said.
“Although exonerated I deeply regretted in incident at a time and I do so today. I spoke to my wife and family at a time and enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support,” he added.
Cricket Australia’s statement said its board had accepted Paine’s resignation and will look to appoint a new test captain.
“Tim felt it was in the best interests of his family and Australian cricket to take this decision to step down as captain,” CA board chairman Richard Freudenstein said. “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 does not condone this type of language or behavior. Despite the mistake he made, Tim has been an exceptional leader since his appointment and the board thanks him for his distinguished service.”
Cricket Australia said Paine “will continue to be available for selection in the test team through the Ashes summer.”
Tim Paine’s full statement:
“Today I am announcing my decision to stand down as captain of the Australian men’s cricket team. It’s a difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family and cricket.
“As a 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 Cricket Australia Integrity Unit investigation, throughout which I fully participated in and openly participated in. 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.
🗣 "I've been blessed with a wonderful, loving & supportive family – it breaks my heart to know how much I have let them down"
Tim Paine has stepped down as captain of the Australia Test team less than three weeks before The Ashes over a sexting exchange with a former colleague.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 19, 2021
“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 to the other party.
“I’m sorry for the 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 have loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team. It’s been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men’s test team.
“I’m grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together. To them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans – deeply sorry that my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes. For the disappointment I have caused to fans and the entire cricket community, I apologise. 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.
“I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team, and look forward with anticipation to what is a huge Ashes tour. Thank you.”