Tim Paine quits Australia captaincy after off-field scandal surfaces


Australia Men’s dressing room has been rocked with a shocking development just weeks ahead of the 2021-22 Ashes. Cricket Australia on Friday confirmed Tim Paine has resigned as Australia’s Test captain with immediate effect, following the emergence of a 2017 off-field scandal.

Paine put out an official statement confirming the decision to step down in a press conference at Hobart, where he did not take any questions from the media. The ex-captain indicated that he would still like to continue his role as a wicketkeeper-batsman pending selection and is looking forward to the Ashes. The decision comes despite the fact that Paine did not breach Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct, as confirmed by the respective authorities.

“It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” said Paine, reading out from a prepared statement.

“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 CA 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 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 any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport.”

CA has accepted Paine’s decision and will now work on identifying and appointing a new Test captain. It is understood that fast bowler Pat Cummins is most likely to take over from Paine, becoming the 47th skipper of the Australian team.

Watch the press conference here: