MELBOURNE: Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine has stepped down from his position after a scandal involving him and a former female employee of Cricket Tasmania sharing inappropriate text messages with each other was revealed here on Friday.
The explicit conversation dates back to 2017 when Paine was not a part of the Australian squad.
Despite Paine getting cleared by Cricket Australia Integrity Unit Investigation back then, the wicket-keeper batter believes that he no longer deserves to be the captain of the Australian team ahead of Ashes.
“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.”
According to Cricket Tasmania, the female employee resigned in 2017 and reported against the Test skipper after a charge of theft was filed against her in 2018. Chairman of Cricket Tasmania Andrew Gaggin said that the investigation at the time proved that the conversation between the two parties was consensual.
The announcement leaves the Aussies without a Test captain just three weeks before the commencement of the all-important Ashes in December.
Paine captained Australia in 23 Tests, leading the team to 11 wins. He has become the second successive Australian captain to step down following a controversy as Steve Smith had previously resigned after a ball-tampering scandal emerged in 2018.