Australia cricket captain resigns after "sexting" scandal

Australia’s test cricket captain has quit after being investigated by Cricket Australia for sending explicit text messages to a female co-worker four years ago

Via AP news wire
Friday 19 November 2021 04:32

Australia test cricket captain Tim Paine has quit after being investigated by Cricket Australia for sending explicit text messages to a female co-worker.

Veteran wicketkeeper Paine was named in a News Corp. report as being at the center of the sexting scandal. The 36-year-old Paine appeared before media on Friday to announce he was resigning the captaincy but wanted to remain a member of the test squad.

The announcement comes less than three weeks before the Dec. 8 start in Brisbane of the five-test Ashes series against England

“It’s an incredibly difficult decision, but the right one for me, my family, and cricket,” Paine said. “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. Although exonerated, I deeply regretted this incident at the time, and still do today."

The messages date to 2017, months before Paine was recalled to the test team after a seven-year absence.

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.”

Paine said at the media conference that he thought the matter had been dealt with several years ago.

“I spoke to my wife and family at the time and am enormously grateful for their forgiveness and support," Paine said. "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.”

Paine said he didn't want the scandal to become “an unwelcome disruption to the team ahead of what is a huge Ashes series."

The series is one of the most anticipated in world cricket. After the opening test match in Brisbane, further matches are scheduled for Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Australia holds the Ashes.

“I have loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team," Paine said. “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 I’m deeply sorry that my past behavior has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes. “

___

More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

More AP Asia sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports-asia and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in