Australia Check captain Paine steps down

Tim Paine has stepped down as Australia Check captain simply earlier than the Ashes over a historic investigation into texts despatched to a feminine colleague.

A tearful Paine, 36, stated he had despatched messages to a co-worker at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 that led to a misconduct investigation.

He stated he was “exonerated”, however is stepping down as he had discovered his texts have been set to be revealed publicly.

The primary Ashes Check between Australia and England begins on 8 December.

Cricket Australia (CA) stated it accepted Paine’s resignation and can appoint a brand new captain, however that the wicketkeeper-batter will stay within the aspect to face England.

Quick bowler Pat Cummins, the present vice-captain, is broadly anticipated to take over as captain.

Tasmania’s Paine was appointed captain in 2018 following Steve Smith’s ban over a ball-tampering scandal.

Paine revealed the historic investigation at a press convention on Friday, describing stepping down as “an extremely troublesome resolution however the best one for me, my household and cricket”.

He stated: “Though exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident on the time and nonetheless do right now.

“I spoke to my spouse and household on the time and am enormously grateful for his or her forgiveness and assist.

“On reflection, my actions in 2017 don’t meet the usual of an Australian cricket captain, or the broader neighborhood.”

Paine didn’t disclose the character of the texts, however CA’s information web site known as it a “sexting incident involving a former Cricket Tasmania worker in 2017”.

Cricket Tasmania stated the incident occurred in November 2017. Paine made his first Check look for Australia in seven years on 23 November 2017 towards England within the first Ashes Check in Brisbane.

Paine added: “On the time, the trade was the topic of an intensive CA Integrity Unit investigation, all through which I absolutely participated in and overtly participated in.

“That investigation and a Cricket Tasmania HR investigation on the similar time discovered that there had been no breach of the Cricket Australia code of conduct.”

CA chairman Richard Freudenstein acknowledged Paine was cleared of any breach however added that the organisation “doesn’t condone this sort of language or behaviour”.

After taking up from the banned Smith in March 2018, Paine stated Australia should enhance their “behaviour” and promised to instil a “new tradition”.

The ball-tampering scandal led to a evaluate into Australian cricket, which got here out in October 2018 and condemned a “successful with out counting the prices” tradition, whereas additionally saying CA was partly guilty.

Cricket Tasmania stated its former worker had not made her allegations towards Paine till mid-2018 when she was charged with theft.

Andrew Gaggin, Cricket Tasmania’s chairman, stated in a press release that the investigation had discovered Paine’s “interplay” with the lady to be “consensual, non-public, occurred on the one event solely, was between mature adults and was not repeated”.

He added that Cricket Tasmania “clearly doesn’t condone this sort of behaviour” however decided that “no additional motion was required or acceptable” due to the “consensual” nature of the texts.

He added that legal prices towards the previous worker have been nonetheless pending and couldn’t remark additional.

Paine, who has scored 9 50s in 35 Assessments, had neck surgical procedure in September, however has beforehand stated he’s assured he will probably be match for the Ashes.

Smith was banned for a yr by CA in 2018 for his half within the ball-tampering scandal- in the course of the third Check towards South Africa in March that yr, and for making an attempt to cowl up the truth that Cameron Bancroft had used sandpaper on the ball.

The batter was additionally banned from captaining Australia for a minimum of two years on the time.

In March 2020, Paine stated he would “absolutely assist” Smith if he have been to return to the captaincy.

Beneath Paine’s captaincy, Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 with a 2-2 draw, turning into the primary Australia aspect to take action in England since 2001.

Nevertheless, they have been additionally overwhelmed at residence by India in each 2018-19 and earlier this yr, with the latter collection that includes Australia’s first Check defeat on the Gabba in Brisbane since 1988.

Paine additionally apologised for his behaviour within the drawn third Check towards India in Sydney in January, after sledging Ravichandran Ashwin and being fined 15% of his match payment for displaying dissent and swearing at umpire Paul Wilson.

The 2021-22 Ashes begins in Brisbane, earlier than matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

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